High Time We Make A Case For Hemp In Denim

June 4, 2021
the Editorial Team
Leaves of hemp plant
Everything we do at Neela, we strive to challenge the norm, especially when it comes to denim making. We aim to think differently, which is why we choose hemp as the champion for our new season-less collection. Learn how here.

With Industrial Hemp taking off in the U.S. and Australia, many garment makers are taking up the gauntlet to make hemp mainstream. Despite being known for its versatility, durability and water savings capability, hemp is far from stirring controversy within the denim industry.

The misconceptions around how hemp is derived make it a controversial material. And contrary to popular belief that denim is synonymous with cotton, we believe that hemp is the catalyst for change. And to all critiques and naysayers, hear us out.

We proudly present our latest concept ‘Versatile Blue’, made exclusively with Hemp fibres.

Neela By Sapphire Fibres presents Versatile Blue - A new concept for denim fabrics
Neela By Sapphire Fibres presents Versatile Blue

Does hemp blend well?

Hemp Fabrics has a similar texture to linen, and can easily blend with other fibres to increase strength and durability. More than its ability to resist abrasion, hemp also absorbs indigo better, furthering the case for creating superior denim blends.

More pertinently, hemp fibres naturally possess anti-bacterial properties against a wide range of pathogenic bacteria, making it the number one choice for natural anti-bacterial alternatives. While this remains a niche alternative to conventional cotton, we predict that hemp blends will be available for most mainstream brands at a more competitive price in the coming few years.

Why should brands opt for hemp blends?

The experience is what matters. Hemp blends boast wicking properties and better temperature regulation when compared with other cotton blends. A while we understand the scepticism around hemp blends, particularly when it comes to the look and feel. Hemp can be coarse, alike its linen counterpart, and if not done right, however, at Neela, we weren’t the first to jump the bandwagon. We took our time. With ample research and responsibility, we’ve been able to make our patent-pending blends — timeless, soft, durable and indistinguishable from premium quality blends currently on the market.

What are the environmental benefits of hemp?

Hemp infographic: Benefits of using hemp (Neela By Sapphire Fibres)
Hemp infographic: Benefits of using hemp

According to Levi’s brand life-cycle assessment, cultivating enough cotton for a typical pair of jeans takes up 2,565 litres of water, more than any other stage in production. By blending a product with as little as 30 per cent, hemp slashes water intake by a third, thus significantly reducing your ecological footprint.

Compared to cotton, hemp demands less land and water to grow. Additionally, cotton production utilises over 16% of the world’s pesticides and requires around 10,000 litres of water to produce 1kg of material for textiles. Hemp alternatively is naturally pest-resistant and leaves the soil more fertile and nutrient-dense after being harvested.

When it comes to garments made with hemp, they are highly versatile and durable and inherently anti-bacterial, thus letting consumers wear garments for extended periods before washing.

Is hemp marijuana?

The simple answer to that is — No. It isn’t, hemp and marijuana are distinctly different. Marijuana is bushier with broader leaves, while hemp is leaner with shinier leaves. But it’s the chemical composition that makes all the difference. Marijuana’s has tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the chemical cannabinoid associated with the plant’s psychoactive effect. Whereas, industrial hemp contains little to no psychoactive substances, and is highly regulated by federal institutions and governments to ensure it is used safely.

Is hemp the future of denim?

As the supply chain grows more accustomed to the idea of hemp being a vibrant cash crop, we see no reason for brands not to put it into their products. The question is, who wants to take the lead on the consumer front?

Get in touch with our sales team by sending an email to to place an enquiry.