Los Angeles-based Circular Systems has announced that their Agraloop™ 1.0 technology is the first to turn stalks from CBD hemp crop leftovers into fiber for clothing. The patented technology refines leftover stalks into Agraloop™ BioFibre™ for apparel using crop leftovers that are usually discarded, downgraded, or often burned, marking the first time CBD hemp fiber has been used in commercial fashion textiles.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a natural and non-psychoactive substance present in cannabis plants that have been used for thousands of years for a range of medical and therapeutic uses. The rising demand is aided by new medical and science innovation, as well as federal, state, and local policy reform. According to a 2020 global industry estimate, the CBD market was estimated at US$2.8 billion in 2020, with annual growth of 21.2 percent from 2020 to 2028.
With this transition come new waste management and processing problems. Cannabis residues generate compost in the same way as any other green waste does, but composting facilities are rare and far between, and few cannabis production operations composts their own waste. Climate change, water, and soil contamination, and local air pollution are also exacerbated by poor agricultural waste management. Much of that is about to improve thanks to Circular Systems.
As a solution for this waste, Circular Systems has created Agraloop 1.5 technology. The processing technology will recycle the wastewater produced during fiber refining and produce beneficial soil amendments that can be returned to the field, in addition to refining fiber bundles from oilseed hemp, oilseed flax, and now CBD crop leftovers.
Circular Systems has been collaborating with Scientific Services Systems (SCS) Global and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition to verify the procedure and publish Life Cycle Impact Assessment results for Agraloop 1.5 fibers, with some trials already completed.
The future Agraloop 1.5 method would support farmers and the world by restoring its valuable soil modification to the farms where the organization sources leftover biomass. Soil improvement, soil building, soil quality, and soil fertility, as well as substantial CO2 reduction by organic carbon sequestration, are among them.
Circular Systems' funding for industrial hemp would help to clean up fields contaminated by chemical-intensive agriculture by allowing hemp to phytoremediate the soil, drawing out salts, heavy metals, and chemical residues. This method will also aid in the transition from hazardous chemical agriculture to healthy regenerative organic farming. Circular Systems further advances multi-purpose cropping by allowing maximum use of CBD and oilseed hemp crops, resulting in improved revenue for farmers. Circular Systems further advances multi-purpose cropping by allowing maximum use of CBD and oilseed hemp crops, resulting in improved revenue for farmers.
CEO and co-founder of Circular Systems, Isaac Nichelson said that he is proud of this advance in making useful fiber from leftovers or downgraded portions of this regenerative product, as a long-time industrial hemp protester and hemp fashion supporter. This is a step forward in achieving the highest value applications of hemp firer derived from medicinal crops, as well as a critical step in tackling waste management issues in the emerging CBD industry.
The Araloop 1.0 technology is currently being scaled up for commercial processing in China, and Agraloop fiber will be included in the H&M Conscious Exclusive Collection in December 2020.
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