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Inspired by nature – Alpine Hemp Technology by SALEWA

Inspired by nature – Alpine Hemp Technology by SALEWA

Sustainable material innovations for the textile outdoor area do not occur every day, because producing breathability, waterproof & Co. as sustainably and fairly as possible is a great challenge. With its Alpine Hemp Technology, the South Tyrolean mountain sports company SALEWA is now taking a big step towards nature & functionality together

South Tyrol’s mountain sports outfitter SALEWA has been committed to material research and the development of innovative materials for many years. With a view of nature and natural functions. After “Tirol Wool Responsive”, the visionaries from Bolzano are now launching their first “Alpine Hemp” climbing collection. A special challenge, because especially when climbing you need a lot of freedom of movement and therefore materials that are elastic, comfortable and particularly hard-wearing.

Alpine Hemp
© MM STLABS Salewa

Attention alpinists: Alpine Hemp is available now

In order to reduce the proportion of synthetic materials and to maximize wearing comfort, SALEWA has mixed hemp with fibers such as recycled polyester, organic cotton and elastane and processed it into an exclusive material using complex knitting and weaving techniques. The result? The robust and durable “Alpine Hemp Ripstop” and the comfortable to wear “Alpine Hemp Jersey”. The model was the human skin. Because it is precisely these proven functions that Alpine Hemp should fulfill.

When designing the fabric, you have to think about the functions our skin fulfills. Christine Ladstätter, Special Product & Innovation Manager

The new material was tested by colleagues and athletes in the field for months. The South Tyrolean alpinist and professional mountaineer Simon Gietl is just as enthusiastic as the Austrian sport climber Anna Stöhr. Even with intense and sweaty activities, freedom of movement is not restricted.

Alpine Hemp is much more comfortable than synthetic fabrics. Anna Stöhr, sport climber

Hemp is a millennia-old, in many ways sustainable crop that was used on a large scale for textile production until the beginning of the last century. After that, cultivation was largely prohibited, and industrial use is now possible again. Hemp is considered to be the strongest and most durable natural fiber known to mankind. It is breathable, thermoregulatory and can absorb up to 30 percent moisture without feeling damp. That is why hemp is to be included as an integral part of the SALEWA product range, replacing polyester and cotton.

Alpine Hemp
© MM STLABS Salewa

Its natural properties make hemp the perfect textile fiber for sportswear.

Hemp has been used in climbing trousers at SALEWA since 2016. Alpine Hemp is the result of the further development of the material and a further step towards a regionally managed circular economy. There is a long tradition of growing hemp in the Alps. Italy was also considered one of the leading countries for industrial hemp production. And there should be some movement again. So far, SALEWA has mainly sourced its hemp from China, from a supplier it trusts in Heilongjiang Province. At the same time, local production is now being set up and supported. 10 percent of the sales from the sale of Alpine Hemp go to local hemp cultivation, regional production and the manufacture of sustainable hemp products. The aim of this development and the use of hemp is not geared towards a quick profit, but is designed as a long-term, sustainable project.

Alpine Hemp – promoting natural material locally

Long-term thinking is also important for SALEWA when working with their production partners. The company relies on cooperation and appropriate social standards. SALEWA is the lead partner of the Fair Wear Foundation, the most important non-profit organization for social standards in the textile sector. Transparency along the entire production chain is a “must”.

The 13-piece Alpine Hemp collection, inspired by the colors of the Dolomites, is OEKO-TEX® certified. In S / S 2021 it includes shirts, pants and tights for alpine climbing. You don’t climb? All the advantages of the material are also ideal for your favorite sports.

Discover the Alpine Hemp collections here >>>