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Pollution is increasingly a threat not only for our health but also for our future and one of the primary sources of pollution is the textile industry

Textiles is one of the largest polluting industries on the planet as both cotton and synthetics (polyester, nylon etc.) have huge environmental footprints. For e.g. Every time we wash a piece of synthetic cloth , it releases 1900 pieces of microplastics in water.

To further quantify the magnitude of this problem, it takes about 2,700 litres of water to produce one t-shirt, while a pair of jeans requires anywhere between 7,500 to 10,000 litres, which collectively amounts to drinking water for more than ten years for a person.This is because cotton, which grows mainly in dry parts of the world, requires a high amount of water. A pair of jeans needs a kilo of cotton, costing a hefty price to the environment. The textile industry is a massive contributor to carbon emissions and covers about 10% of all global emissions.

To date, 85% of the clothes produced end up in landfills, while only 1% is recycled.

Canvaloop™ is a fibre & retail company founded by Shreyans Kokra that is committed to embracing sustainability by maximising its usage of environmentally friendly fibres. Canvaloop™ produces materials that are socially inclusive, increasingly viable, and easily available resulting in substantial breakthroughs in the textile sector. The Gujarat-based startup transforms agricultural waste  crops such as  hemp, banana, pineapple, corn etc. into textile grade fibre that can significantly reduce the industry’s carbon footprint. 

A chartered financial analyst by qualification, Shreyans belongs to a family that has been in the textile business for over four decades

On the quest for an eco-friendly fabric, Shreyans zeroed in on hemp because of its negative carbon footprint and biodegradability while the bast fibre from its stem lends itself to scaling up in textile manufacturing. When it comes to sourcing hemp, Canvaloop™ turned to Himalayan hemp which grows naturally in the mountain ranges of India and Nepal.

It has been growing without interference from humans for over 5,000 years. Natural rainfall is the only source of water the crops receive. The seeds are not sown by anyone either but by nature twice a year. The hemp takes just 90 days to grow in comparison to the 160 days that cotton needs to be ready for harvesting. Canvaloop™ has also formed farmer clusters across the country to source agriculture waste of crops such as banana, pineapple and corn – this has substantially increased the farmer income, provided additional livelihood opportunities to farmer communities and also prevented the burning of the waste.

HempLoop™ is sourced from sustainably grown non-GMO cannabis from all around the world including pristine Himalayas

Unlike cotton, hemp requires much less water and fewer pesticides. The coarse hemp fibre undergoes a radical change through a 3-step process, involving bio-chemicals, enzymes and mechanical treatment. The final product is a textile-grade fibre that can effortlessly undergo spinning, weaving, dyeing and stitching. This remarkable change in form, however, doesn’t interfere with the essential characteristics of the fibre such as its anti-UV and anti-microbial properties and the ability to adapt to the weather. Canvaloop’s signature fibres – Hemploop are made from Hemp. Hemp is able to bioaccumulate by pulling carbon out of the air as it grows to help areas that struggle with pollution.

This is why it was planted during the 1990s in areas such as Chernobyl to help decontaminate the soil. It is also a notably durable fabric that can withstand a lot of wear and tear. The technology does not only serve hemp, it can convert a hard product like agricultural waste to a soft fabric like cotton. The strongest selling point of Canvaloop™ is that its fibre can be spun and woven on any existing textile machinery.Canvaloop™ does not only produce fabric and yarn from hemp, they explore an array of possibilities.

The by-product is biodegradable and is used in the paper industry and fertiliser. The process generates zero waste

Another sustainable fabric the company works with is Himalayan stinging nettles. Which grow wild in the same area as the hemp. It has similar but not as many benefits as the hemp does including being adaptable to different weathers due to being a hollow fibre and being microbial as well. The quality of the Nettleloop improves with washing.Other fabrics include Banloop which is extracted from the stem of the banana plant which was considered a waste product prior to this. It is then processed into textile grade fibres and yarns using their patented technology. The company also use Pineloop which is made from pineapples and is an alternative for silk.

The company produces about 80 tonnes of fibre from agricultural waste in a month,providing employment to many locals in Himachal Pradesh. These Fribres are then woven into clothing by major global brands such as Arvind Textiles, Levis, Target, H&M, and others

Today, the startup claims to be having the capacity to process about 30 tonnes of agricultural waste every month. Canvaloop™ currently has three primary products that it sells to a range of B2B and B2C clients Hemp fibre (Hemploop™), agro-waste blended yarns (Hemp, Banana and Pine-apple) and Himalayan Hemp denims (Slow by Canvaloop™) made from wild growing Hemp in the Himalayan regions of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.

The fibres developed by the startup also came at the opportune time as many leading textile and apparel brands were looking to bring sustainable fabric into their portfolio or processes.The startup’s proprietary technology has also garnered interest from others who are keen to adopt it and there are some early talks from entities based in the UK and Australia.

From a sustainability point of view, hemp is the only crop that gives more to the environment than take from it. It replenishes the soil that it grows in. So, if you look at the overall environmental footprint, it is the most minimal carbon footprint that you can get from any kind of crop.


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