With proprietary methods that produce a soft, stronger, cotton-like hemp fiber, Bear Fiber of Wilmington, N.C., is producing socks made from U.S.-grown hemp.
The socks allow wearers to treat their feet to “luxurious comfort, fashion and value” while supporting “Made in the USA” sustainability, according to a press release from Bear Fiber. One of the company’s goals is to help reestablish industrial hemp production in the U.S. and bring back a “new” natural technical fiber to make better, longer-lasting apparel and wellness products.
While hemp is the focus, the socks also contain a proprietary technology that conforms to a wearer’s feet, does not slouch or droop, does not have an irritating toe seam and breathes naturally. Hemp fibers are “intimately blended” with organic cotton and REPREVE® recycled performance fiber Nylon 6.
Bear Fiber has promoted hemp fiber for fashion since the 1990s, in addition to helping develop the organic cotton market. The company’s focus is to help grow the U.S. hemp fiber industry by developing a commercially sustainable market to support farmers, processors, yarn spinners, textile manufacturers and the U.S. apparel industry.
To develop the hemp/cotton sustainable sock, the company worked for more than a year with expert knitters at the Catawba Valley Community College’s Manufacturing Solutions Center in Conover, N.C. Other partners include Carolina farmers and processors, Gaston College’s Textile Technology Center, North Carolina State’s Wilson College of Textiles,
Fashion for Good, Textile Exchange, Outdoor Retailer, SEAMS and the North Carolina Board of Science, Technology and Innovation.