I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Mr. Jungmaven the founder of Jungmavan and Manastash clothing line which utilizes Hemp in all of their styles of clothes including T-shirts, Hoodies and Winter Jackets.
Mr. Jungmaven produces his clothes out of his office in Los Angeles, however due to the current US restriction on growing Industrial Hemp he must import all of his raw Materials, mostly from China.
If asked if he would consider using US Hemp if farmers were allowed to grow it he states emphatically, “Absolutely!”
When asked why he uses hemp as a raw material for his clothes he says:
Hemp requires less water and agricultural chemicals than other crops and has deep roots that leave the soil in excellent condition for the next crop. The difference in producing a hemp t-shirt and a cotton one is 300 gallons of water per shirt.
This couldn’t be more true. According the World Wildlife Federation (WWF)
It can take more than 20,000 litres of water to produce 1kg of cotton; equivalent to a single T-shirt and pair of jeans. 2.4% of the world’s crop land is planted with cotton and yet it accounts for 24% and 11% of the global sales of insecticide and pesticides respectively.
Mr. Jungmaven allowed me to try on a few of his T-shirts and I have to say I was expecting something rather uncomfortable. Historically hemp linen and fabrics are not the most comfortable to wear. Ask anyone who owns a hemp bracelet. It’s itchy and scratchy. However, the Jungmaven T-shirts were as smooth as silk and very light to the touch. In fact, I would go on record as saying it was one of the most comfortable T-shirts I’ve ever worn. So that begs the question… how are these made and why is there a difference between yesterdays hemp clothing and todays?
The difference comes down to the processing. Viscose Hemp vs Mechanical Hemp.
Viscose Hemp uses the cellulose contained within plants and combines that with a chemical reaction using enzymes to produce a material that can then be weaved into fabric. The result is smooth and clean.
Mechanical Hemp is the old process for literally pulling the fibers apart mechanical and spinning thread. No chemicals are used, but the result is rather itchy.
Today’s hemp fabric producers are leaning more towards the Viscose Fiber because the resulting materials are softer and produce higher quality fabrics – also the entire plant is used in the viscose hemp as opposed to about 50% of the plant when using the mechanical process.
And the proof is in the feel. I recently took a jog in my new hemp t-shirt and not only did it feel great it allowed the sweat to evaporate off my body without getting trapped in the shirt like cotton would. By the end of the run the hemp t-shirt was a dry as it had been when I first started.
To check out all of Jungmaven’s clothes visit http://www.twojupiters.com/