Hemp is an alternative natural fiber that’s cultivated with low impact on the environment. It requires no irrigation, uses no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, and is harvested and processed by hand. It’s one of the most durable natural fibers on the planet, and results in a fabric with a wonderful drape, comparable to linen.
Cultivation of hemp improves soil health, and farmers can plant food crops in the same field immediately after a hemp harvest without a fallow period. In this way farmers can grow cash crops and food crops on the same land.
Though our hemp is not “certified organic,” it’s grown organically using all natural ingredients: compost, animal manure and available rainfall. Patagonia makes garments with hemp alone or blended with other fibers like recycled polyester, organic cotton and spandex.
Unfortunately, industrial hemp is illegal to grow in most parts of the world. Activists, businesses and farmers alike are working hard to get the laws changed, but government agencies continue to associate it with marijuana. We currently import our high-quality hemp from China, and continue to hope that it might someday grow freely again.