We always try and source our fabrics from U.S. grown natural products whenever possible, both because we know that the materials were produced under environmental and labor standards far above other top-producing countries, and because we just like the idea of the stuff being used in our apparel being grown as close to home as possible.
When we came across the hemp fabric for our Creator Stretch Hemp Shorts, we became curious about hemp as a crop and started doing some research. What we came to find out was that hemp fiber is becoming an insanely popular ingredient not only for clothing, but also for homebuilding, health and medicinal products, household goods, and a long list of other products.
However, when we looked further into this we realized that even though the U.S. is the largest consumer of industrial hemp goods, all of the commercial hemp used to make these products is grown in countries outside of the U.S., most commonly China and Canada. The reason is that it is still basically illegal under U.S. federal law to grow industrial hemp in the U.S. (with the only caveat being some research grants given to universities). Because the hemp plant is in the same family as the marijuana plant, they've been lumped together over time even though industrial hemp contains almost no THC, the pyschoactive component of marijuana.
Recently, however, there's been a strong movement to change the law. It seems likely that this will happen in the not so distant future (here's the latest on the legal mumbo jumbo)
To read more about industrial hemp and the legalization fight, check out the resources located on the National Hemp Association site.
We're anticipating rolling out more hemp products in the future, and eventually these will hopefully be sourced from American hemp.