Circular Systems' Agriloop Technology converts cannabis and hemp waste into textiles
The Company Launches First Textile Grade Fiber Made with CBD Hemp Leftovers
-Circular Systems has announced their Agraloop™ 1.0 technology is believed to be the first to convert stalks from CBD hemp crop leftovers into fiber used for fashion products. Using crop leftovers that are typically discarded, downgraded or often burned, the proprietary technology refines leftover stalks into Agraloop™ BioFibre™ for apparel, marking the first time CBD hemp fiber has been used in commercial fashion textiles.
Cannabidiol or CBD, a natural and non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants, has been used for a variety of medicinal and therapeutic purposes for thousands of years. New medical and scientific research and along with federal, state and local policy reform contribute to the growing market. A 2020 global market report valued the CBD market at USD 2.8 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.2% from 2021 to 2028.
With this shift, comes challenges related to waste management and processing. Processing cannabis residues produces a compost product similar to any other green waste, but accessible compost facilities are limited and few cannabis cultivation operations compost their own waste. Improper agricultural waste management contributes to climate change, water and soil contamination, and local air pollution. Circular Systems has set out to change all that.
Circular Systems has developed the Agraloop in an attempt to solve some of these challenges and fuel the circular economy on a broader scale. The company’s future-state Agraloop 1.5 technology now in development takes fiber processing to a new level of beneficial impact. In addition to refining fiber bundles with their specialized technique from oilseed hemp, oilseed flax, and now CBD crop leftovers, the Agraloop 1.5 processing technology will recycle the waste-water generated during fiber refining, and create beneficial soil amendments that can go back to the farm. With some trials already executed, Circular Systems has been working with Scientific Services Systems (SCS) Global and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition to validate the process and publish Life Cycle Impact Assessment data for Agraloop 1.5.
By returning its beneficial soil amendment to the farms where the company sources leftover biomass, the future Agraloop 1.5 process will yield other benefits for farmers and the environment alike. These benefits include; soil building, improvement of soil health and soil fertility, as well as significant CO2 reduction, through sequestration of organic carbon. With its support of industrial hemp, Circular Systems promotes the clean-up of fields damaged by chemical-intensive agriculture through hemp’s ability to phytoremediate the soil, drawing out salts, heavy metals, and chemical residues to cleanse the soil. This process can also help enable movement away from harmful chemical agriculture to healthy regenerative organic farming. Furthermore, by enabling the full utilization of CBD and oilseed hemp crops, Circular Systems advances multi-purpose cropping to provide increased revenue for farmers.
“As longtime industrial hemp activist and hemp fashion proponent, I’m proud of this breakthrough in creating valuable fiber from leftovers or downgraded parts of this regenerative plant,” said Isaac Nichelson, CEO and Co-founder of Circular Systems. “This is an advancement towards achieving the highest value applications of hemp fiber coming from medicinal crops, as well as an important step in addressing challenges associated with waste management in the burgeoning CBD industry.”
Agraloop 1.0 technology is currently running scaled commercial production in China, processing Agraloop BioFibre which debuted with the H&M AW20 Conscious Exclusive Collection in December 2020 and has been included in additional collections since its debut such as the brand’s Science Collection as well as the women's Spring of Natural Innovation.
“Many of our largest customers are already asking about the Agraloop BioFibre products,” said the Managing Director of one of the world’s largest denim production companies. “It's easy to see the tremendous potential for Agraloop’s new form of regenerative natural fiber. The industry is eager to replace cotton with natural fibers made from agricultural leftovers and we are proud to be developing a strong strategic alignment with Circular Systems.”
About Circular Systems
Circular Systems™ is a materials science company focused on creating a net-positive impact on our environment, society, and economy through innovation. Our circular and regenerative technologies provide systemic solutions for transforming waste into valuable fiber, yarn, and fabrics for the fashion industry.
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Anne McPherson Circular Systems +1 917-531-4050 email us here