Kontoor Brands Inc., with a brand portfolio led by Lee and Wrangler, announced an expansion of its collaboration with Dallas-based Panda Biotech, an emerging leader in the industrial hemp fiber industry, on Tuesday.
Kontoor Brands and Panda Biotech will work to bring traceability and scale to the textile-grade cottonized hemp grown and processed in the United States.
“Sustainable hemp creates the perfect complement fiber to cotton,” Dhruv Agarwal, senior director of global material innovation and product development at Kontoor Brands, said. “We are excited by the opportunity to advance the denim industry’s use of environmentally friendly hemp to craft high-quality, eco-conscious apparel. Our work with Panda Biotech has been focused on making truly sustainable hemp, unlocking an additional commercialized fiber crop for American farmers and providing consumers with access to more sustainable apparel.”