AGI Denim and Panda Biotech are pleased to announce they have entered into a global production partnership. AGI Denim will combine its innovative and industry-leading denim manufacturing technologies with American-grown industrial hemp processed and cottonized at Panda Biotech’s state-of-the-art facility in the United States, the largest in the Western Hemisphere, and believed to be the largest in the world.
The partnership is an exciting step forward for innovation within the industry as today’s eco-conscious consumers increasingly demand high quality, yet sustainable products. This initiative will help reduce the environmental impact and carbon footprint by significantly conserving precious resources such as water. Both companies expect to play a leading role in discovering how sustainable, hemp-based fibers and materials can be used to create high-quality denim.
Panda Biotech’s hemp is an easily traceable, US-grown product that offers complete visibility and quality assurance within an industry that is still trying to address the issue of transparency within its supply-chain. The collaboration allows both companies and their brand partners to identify, track and trace the hemp fiber as it moves along the supply chain from raw to finished goods — providing peace of mind to consumers who will know exactly where their products originate. AGI Denim is the first company to partner with Panda.
“This partnership with Panda Biotech is an excellent opportunity for AGI, and we are thrilled to be working with a team of people who share the same passion for sustainability within the industry that we do. What we found most compelling about this ground-breaking, female-led company is the traceability angle that goes right back to the American farmer” said Hasan Javed, Executive Director at AGI Denim. “Given hemp’s incredibly positive impact on the environment, we strongly believe that it is the future and the way forward. We’re excited to see what innovative new materials will come from this collaboration.”
“We are excited to work with AGI, and applaud their commitment to implement transformative processes that will better both the environment and the jeans they manufacture,” said Dixie Carter, president of Panda Biotech. “The pace of fashion is unsustainable. We are on the cusp of great change as brands and manufacturers make increasingly aggressive commitments to producing sustainable products with renewable processes. Industrial hemp will play a pivotal role in satisfying this growing market demand.”
As an existing leader in circularity within the industry, AGI has already made great strides in developing innovative alternatives to traditional denim manufacturing and processing methods. Just this year, they were awarded a Gold Level, Cradle-to-Cradle Certification for their latest hemp-based fabric material, Hemp X. And, by using Panda Biotech’s proprietary cottonization process, AGI Denim looks forward to utilizing even more environmentally friendly materials in their upcoming denim collections. With the company’s exclusive one-year deal with Panda for the Pakistan denim industry, AGI Denim expects to further scale its use of sustainable raw materials at its new facilities.
As a natural substitute for cotton, industrial hemp offers a host of environmental benefits that make it an exciting option for future use within the industry. It’s proven to absorb more CO2 per acre than any forest or commercial crop and requires a fraction of the water needed by most major crops. In addition, hemp can grow in a wide variety of climates and soil types, is naturally resistant to most pests, and grows very tightly spaced — allowing it to “outcompete” most weeds.
“As we transition to a future that embraces more sustainable agriculture and processing practices in textiles,” added Javed, “industrial hemp can help lead the way.”