A new capsule collection from Lenzing is a literal and figurative meeting of the minds.
Debuting at Kingpins24, the Bast Recast collection demonstrates the power of collaboration, featuring a Tencel lyocell hemp blend and environmentally friendly solutions from leaders throughout the denim supply chain that underscore hemp’s sustainable properties.
“In order to pay homage to the history of hemp, we brought together a group of companies who we knew could deliver both the quality, innovation and environmental integrity that the sustainable denim wardrobe projects demand,” said Michael Kininmonth, project manager at Lenzing.
The range includes GOTS-certified conventional and cottonized hemp fibers and yarns supplied by Kingdom, one of the world’s largest linen yarn and hemp yarn manufacturers. All fabrics were developed exclusively in-house by Pakistan-based denim producer Naveena Denim Ltd., and U.K.-based Endrime designed, pattern cut and sewed the entire collection, using hemp’s centuries-long history as inspiration.
“I personally wanted to explore the mid-1800s by making period-correct garments and fabrics from the time of early denim and workwear,” said Mohsin Sajid, Endrime’s owner and creative director, who noted that workwear was originally crafted from a blend of hemp and linen.
Garments in the range were finished using Jeanologia’s sustainable, water-saving methods, and each style is presented in raw and washed varieties.
Every detail, from thread to hang tag, was selected with the environment in mind: Portugese supplier Crafil provided biodegradable sewing threads made from Celofil—100 percent certified Tencel lyocell thread—while joker labels and hang-tags were designed from the collection’s off-cuts. Preservation project Warp-face provided sustainable paper, and Italian chemicals company Officina+39 supplied Recycrom dyestuff for the Tencel lyocell and hemp denim paper.
Hemp has long been touted by farmers as a fiber that has regenerative properties and requires less water to grow than cotton crops, and has been considered a cash crop in countries like China. But because of its connection to the cannabis industry, hemp has been a difficult field to navigate from a legal standpoint. Easing national restrictions in recent years have helped nudge the fiber into the spotlight, leading experts to view it as the next major cotton alternative. Outdoor apparel leader Patagonia recently spearheaded a plan to bring hemp production back to the U.S.—specifically to Colorado’s San Luis Valley.
Major brands such as Levi’s have been experimenting with the fiber for years, and the denim giant just recently debuted a collection with its highest hemp count to-date. The line offers garments including men’s and women’s Trucker Jackets, and men’s 502 Taper jeans, made with 55 percent hemp blends—up from 30 percent in 2019. Hemp is also a part of Wrangler’s new Retro Green Jean collection, a line that gives a sustainable update to its bestselling denim.