Two young Italian entrepreneurs, Francesco Vantin and Matteo Sandri, both 25 years old, have recently created a new project and launched a new jeans brand - Gimmi Jeans.
They live in the province of Vicenza, in the textile district of Valdagno, not far from Venice, and have shared a study of the industry in their area. "By studying textiles, we realized the impact on the environment of the fashion industry," explained Francesco Vantin.
The Gimmi Jeans project was born two years ago, during the pandemic, in 2020, a year that generated new awareness and made it clear how urgent it was to mobilize on the sustainability front.
Hemp is considered one of the most sustainable textile fibers. It is a weed that reproduces very quickly, does not require pesticides and has a very high yield because it produces 220% more fiber than cotton.
Apparently, even the sails used by the caravels used by Christopher Columbus to reach America were made of hemp, this same textile fiber derived from Cannabis Sativa.
In the past such cultivation was widespread in Italy and for centuries it was used for textiles used to make ships' sails, tablecloths for family trousseaux, shirts and pants.
Until the 1970s, Italy was one of the most important countries in Europe for the cultivation of textile hemp. Later this industry went into crisis. Despite subsequent attempts to revive it through a consortium established in the late 1990s and early 2000s, which Giorgio Armani had also joined, the project did not take off.
Today the processing of hemp into fiber is mainly handled in Italy by Linificio and Canapificio Nazionale, an old Italian company that is now part of the Marzotto group and has recently become a benefit company.
Let’s hope it can set a new path for spreading a return to hemp cultivation and use as a more sustainable alternative to cotton.