Published: 31st August 2020
Hemp, hemp, hurray: This entrepreneur from Surat wants you to try jeans made of Himalayan hemp
CanvaLoop, the start-up initiated by Shreyans Kokra is going to launch a Kickstarter campaign so that everyone can help themselves to a pair of this fabulous eco-jeans. Check out their awesome story
No matter what your wardrobe choices are, a pair of jeans is commonplace. But what is not common knowledge is that it takes 7,600 litres of water to manufacture one pair of cotton jeans! It's not just for nothing that fashion is the second-largest polluting industry on our planet. Are we taking you on a guilt trip? For good reason! But you don't have to feel so if you opt for Slow, CanvaLoop's jeans made from Himalayan hemp. And Shreyans Kokra, Founder and CEO of the start-up, tells us why it is all kinds of awesome.
Meet Slow jeans
Having come from a family that has been into the synthetic textile industry for four generations now, Shreyans has always been inclined towards the sustainable side of things. The 26-year-old initiated Enigma Fabrics back in 2017 when he was pursuing his Master's in Babson College, Boston. It went through a few name changes and became CanvaLoop that we know today. "When we came back to India, we developed a technology to use the hard bark of the hemp plant and convert it into a cotton-like fiber which is then spun into fabric and stitched into Slow jeans. We have even filed for a patent for it,” he informs.
Sneak peek | (Pic: CanvaLoop)
Before we proceed, let us introduce you to the Himalayan hemp. It has been growing in the wild, particularly in the Himalayan regions, for over 5,000 years now. And unlike other kinds of hemp, it needs no human intervention, it is self-sufficient that way. Once you harvest it, it grows in 90 days. Naturally, the fabric derived from its bark will encompass these qualities and only expound them. It is antimicrobial naturally and its porous material helps you breathe easy. Durability? It lasts three to four times longer than your average pair of jeans.
The challenge when it comes to Himalayan hemp is in extraction and harvesting, which is an extremely skilled process. "The village folk used to make a thick rope out of it but now most of the market for it is lost. But we managed to find these folk, about 120 of them in Nepal," informs Shreyans. Due to the license permit issue in Himachal, most of their skilled work happens in Nepal and the harvested Himalayan hemp is brought to their mechanical and enzymatic unit in Surat where the rest of the magic happens. With the help of their partners, they convert the material into yarn and fabric on per-order bases.
Shreyans Kokra | (Pic: CanvaLoop)
What are our choices?
"We have prototypes of the jeans in three colours, black, indigo and sky, and are ready to launch our Kickstarter campaign on September 10 via which, people can purchase these jeans," informs the entrepreneur. "Since cannabis cultivation is only legal in Uttarakhand for now, this campaign is not just a case study, we want to prove to the states that this model can be replicated in other Himalayan territories as well, the manufacturing to can happen there and this might help in solving the mass migration problem," he explains.
In the future, CanvaLoop wants to make fabric from nettle, kenaf and banana as well. And create a huge brand of sustainable fabrics.