Patagonia’s Island Hemp Hoody wards off mosquitoes and chills on a river-mouth sundown paddle. The hooded jacket’s soft hemp/organic cotton plain weave is light and airy, with a beautiful sheen. Contoured feminine seams and raglan sleeves render the fit current. Adjustable hood with self-fabric drawcord; exposed metal zipper lends style. On-seam, side-entry, zippered pockets hold headlamp and keys. Covered elastic at wrist and hidden elastic drawcord for a clean finish. Hip length.
Hemp is an alternative natural fiber that’s cultivated with low impact on the environment. This wondrous plant requires no irrigation, uses no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, and is harvested and processed by hand. It’s one of the most durable natural fibers on the planet, and results in a fabric with a wonderful drape, comparable to linen.
Cultivation of hemp improves soil health, and farmers can plant food crops in the same field immediately after a hemp harvest without a fallow period. In this way farmers can grow cash crops and food crops on the same land.
Though Patagonia’s hemp is not “certified organic,” it’s grown organically using all natural ingredients: compost, animal manure and available rainfall. Patagonia makes garments with hemp alone or blended with other fibers like recycled polyester, organic cotton and spandex.
Unfortunately, industrial hemp is illegal to grow in most parts of the world. Activists, businesses and farmers alike are working hard to get the laws changed, but government agencies continue to associate it with marijuana. Patagonia currently import its high-quality hemp from China, and continues to hope that it might someday grow freely again.