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Under Armour signs major hemp sourcing deal

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Hemp Credits: Textile Exchange

Under Armour, the sportswear giant, has inked a substantial hemp sourcing agreement valued at 9 million Australian dollars (equivalent to 5.86 million USD). The arrangement, spanning an initial period of three years, has been established with Hemp Black, a subsidiary of the Australian firm Ecofibre. The strategic partnership facilitates the provision of bio-based yarns to Under Armour, a development that aligns with the company's strategy to incorporate sustainable elements into its supply chain.

The accord between Under Armour and Hemp Black has ushered in a transformative phase marked by the infusion of advanced production technology. To expedite this endeavour, Under Armour has committed to allocate 6.74 million dollars towards the acquisition of specialized manufacturing equipment. Industry sources, including Apparel Resources, corroborate this investment.

With an eye on efficiency and scalability, plans are underway for the acquisition of a second machine within the inaugural 18 months of production. The first machine, slated for commissioning early next year, is projected to operate at optimal capacity, generating an estimated annual revenue of approximately 9 million dollars per unit, said Apparel Resources.

Noteworthy in this collaboration is its resonance with Ecofibre's core ambitions, fitting seamlessly into the company's Tier 1 objectives. Hemp Black, a carbon-negative protagonist, distinguishes itself by harnessing the power of industrial hemp – a resource that boasts carbon sequestration capabilities surpassing those of forests by a factor of ten.

Eco6, the veritable star product of Hemp Black, contributes to this carbon-conscious mission. Derived from meticulously cultivated and harvested hemp sourced from accredited U.S. farms, Eco6 is a USDA-certified Biobased Product. Employing a proprietary carbonisation process involving the hemp plant's stem, this innovation culminates in a high-performance organic activated carbon yarn. The versatility of the yarn finds its application in both high-performance textiles and fashion products.

Notably, the attributes of hemp fabric make it an attractive contender for activewear.

A replacement for cotton?

Renowned for its durability and resistance to moisture, hemp fabric holds inherent advantages that resonate with sportswear requirements. Research from the Hemp Foundation underscores hemp's durability, water resistance, and fire-insulating properties, positioning it as a compelling alternative to conventional materials like cotton.

Sustainable Fashion
Under Armour