Founded in 1973, Patagonia is the hardest-to-hate organization in the world. The organization has given away millions to worthwhile causes, and literally pioneered what it means to be a value-driven organization.
Under the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, lobbyists are required to file disclosures of what interests they’re fighting for, and who they’re doing it for. Lobbying disclosure documents filed earlier this year show that Patagonia has been a big supporter of hemp legislation all along.
In fact, they helped initiate the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, which fights to reduce the usage of energy, chemicals, and non-sustainable resources in the creation and production of clothing.
Patagonia Already Uses Hemp
Sustainability is one of the reasons that Patagonia loves using hemp for some of its products.
Unfortunately, due to restrictions and high costs in the United States, Patagonia has had to import its hemp from China. Now that the 2018 Hemp Farm Bill has passed, we expect that to change.
Beginning January 1st, 2019, industrial hemp will finally be treated as an agricultural commodity in the U.S. just like cotton, opening the floodgates for commercial-scale production of the fibrous non-psychoactive cousin of the cannabis plant. This will mean cheaper and more plentiful U.S.-grown hemp biomass to be used for creating fibers, textiles, and much much more.
Why Patagonia Loves Hemp
Industrial hemp, being the miracle plant that it is, requires fewer resources to grow than traditional fibers like cotton, and can last longer because its stronger. This was just one of the many reasons that it was ridiculous that the industrial hemp industry was ever stifled.
Beyond that, as Patagonia notes, “cultivation of hemp improves soil health by replenishing vital nutrients and preventing erosion.”
Given the sustainability and durability of hemp textiles, it is no shock that Patagonia has been eying hemp as a major materials component for its products going forward.
The last line of Patagonia’s mission statement is “…use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” While industrial hemp may not save the world, it may help save the environment if it is adopted as a common alternative to cotton.
As far as we’re concerned, Patagonia deserves a bravo for its lobbying efforts, and for helping to de-stigmatize the use of hemp as a textile.
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