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Italy’s Opera Campi to Launch Stretch Hemp Apparel

Italian experimental brand Opera Campi has launched two garments—a jacket dubbed “H-Jacket” and a pant called “H-Pant”—made of a new, innovative fabric called “H-EMP.”

Developed over 10 years of research, “H-EMP” is a patented Italian “biotech” fabric composed of 92 percent natural premium hemp and an 8 percent blend of Lycra spandex and bioplastic material, according to CEO Alberto Ziveri.

“The fabric and the garments are the first idea of making a sustainable product, yet looking smooth and futuristic,” Ziveri said. “The garments have been tested in a laboratory following ISO & UNI standard, demonstrating a record-breaking breathability, an excellent thermo-regulation property and an excellent durability.”

Opera Campi, based in the Northern Italy town of Parma, launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign that has collected $15,800 so far. The H-Pant wholesales for 184 euros ($202.46) and the jacket for 194 euros ($213.47). Purchased as a set, they wholesale for 348 euros ($382.92).

“Opera Campi has invested a lot on this, making a premium finished product which has been defined ‘light-years’ ahead by industry experts and the first people who wore them,” Ziveri said.

A main founder of the company, Ziveri bought Opera Campi in 2018 and is producing “premium futuristic fabrics and garments, with a traditional Italian footprint. Last year, Opera Campi produced 1,000 products made from a traditional fabric called La Canapa. A sample batch of the H-EMP styles also has been produced.

In the U.S., the Farm Bill signed into law at the end of 2018 legalized the growth of hemp, and analysts predict that the hemp market, valued at around $800 million at the beginning of 2019, could be worth $20 billion by 2022.

“Everyone in apparel is talking about how you can innovate with fabrics and differentiate yourself from the market,” Sue Welch, CEO at retail tech company Bamboo Rose, said earlier this year. “Hemp is going to play an increasingly important role there.”

Once the campaign is funded, the plan is to start up yarn production in November and fabric in January. Garment manufacturing and shipping would commence in March, with delivery in April.