Bastcore is accelerating hemp’s accessibility to apparel companies in the U.S.—and its latest move could make the raw material a more permanent production staple.
The Omaha-based hemp processing company signed the first hemp fiber supply contract in the U.S., which will enable it to process domestically grown textile grade hemp fiber for California-based retailer Recreator Hemp Apparel. The contract, which was enacted on Tuesday, could be a major step for the U.S. hemp industry and furthering the material’s placement in apparel supply chains nationwide.
The contract will enable Bastcore and Recreator Hemp Apparel to establish a better hemp ecosystem in the U.S. Under the contract, organic hemp fiber will be provided by American farmers, processed by Bastcore and spun into yarn. From there, Recreator will knit the fiber into fabric then cut and sew the for finished garments in Los Angeles, California.
Founded by John Lupien, Bastcore closes the gap between hemp farmers and industries demanding cost-competitive sustainable raw materials. The company’s proprietary processing system converts hemp stalks into commercial materials for high-growth markets, including apparel and textiles. With Bastcore, apparel companies, including Recreator, could bring more regenerative agricultural practices to the U.S. fashion industry while supporting local hemp farmers.
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“This partnership should encourage rural communities to re-invest in natural fibers and textile production,” said Recreator CEO Matt McClain, PhD. “We are excited to show the pull-through capacity of Recreator by implementing Bastcore’s American-grown and processed hemp fiber into our premium apparel line.”
Bastcore’s contract follows other domestic hemp efforts. Recently, apparel companies are making their products more sustainable, including incorporating more organic materials, such as hemp. Last year, Patagonia advocated for industrial hemp legalization in the U.S., with its short documentary, “Harvesting Liberty,” which demonstrated the potential positive impacts of farming industrial hemp. While hemp remains a relatively new presence, the raw material could be in high demand down the line, as the environment becomes more of a priority for major apparel players.