Co-constructing a European textile hemp industry

At the request of producers of European Flax and Hemp, players in the textile industry, and leading brands, the Alliance commits to growing and co-constructing a local Hemp industry with a pragmatic and ambitious mindset.

Hemp cutting
copyright Valbiom

The Alliance is partnering with the european Hemp4Circularity project

Find out the latest news about the project on our website in the dedicated article

The Alliance is working in partnership with Valbiom, the Wallonia-based association for sustainable solutions in a bio-based economy, as part of the Hemp4Circularity project. 11 multidisciplinary* and 5 associated partners** have come together to create one circular and local long fibre textile Hemp industry. Officially launched on 6 and 7 June 2023, this three-year project is supported by the European Union as part of the Interreg project (the North-West-Europe European Territorial Cooperation programme) with a total budget of €3,800,000.

*11 multidisciplinary partners: Belgium( FTILaB+, HOGENT, Hyler, Inagro, Libeco, Valbiom ) - France (Alliance for European Flax-Linen & Hemp, Lin et Chanvre Bio, Safilin) - Netherlands (Delphy, Van de Bilt) - Germany (Natuvalis)
**5 associated partners: BAFA, Bioeconomy for Change, EIHA, ETP, HEMPAGE

The Alliance is spearheading 2 additional missions

1. Environmental footprint:

  • Launching a template for collecting agricultural data using the European Commission’s Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) method
  • Ultimately producing a common dataset on Hemp long fibres and feeding into the reference datasets for robust Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) calculations.

2. Communication & promotion:

  • B2B: with European textile players, by adhering to the Alliance’s operational actional plan (trade shows, directory, sourcing platform, exploratory showroom, etc.)
  • B2C with consumers
  • Identifying and training ambassadors for Hemp

European textile Hemp within The Alliance

A strategic commitment to diversification for the Linen industry and added value for the industrial Hemp industry

At its General Assembly in late 2022, the Alliance unveiled the work of its representatives (16 elected directors for Linen & Hemp) on a new name and 3 strategic pillars:

  • Nurturing and growing our virtuous common ecosystem that serves European Flax-Linen and Hemp
  • Becoming an innovative and sustainable international reference
  • Guaranteeing quality and embodying desirability

In this context, the Alliance commits to supporting the Hemp textile industry in designing a collective roadmap in line with current developments in industrial European Hemp (seeds, shives and technical fibres with 21,700 ha of Hemp for all uses in France in 2022, including about 10% for textile markets, and 55,000 ha for all uses in the EU) in the context of China’s leadership in textile Hemp (12,000 ha textile Hemp in 2021 for a total of 65,000 ha for all uses).

The Alliance created an Orientation Committee for Textile Hemp made up of industry leaders

On 8 June 2023, the Alliance tasked seven experts from the Flax and Hemp industries with identifying strategic priorities and outlining a collective operational roadmap:

  • What are the technical itineraries for short fibre textile Hemp? And long fibre?
  • Issues of agricultural mechanisation and processing of fibres, yarn, fabric, etc.
  • CSR: how can we capitalise on the work and production methodology for European Flax™ certified fibre, the first textile fibre to have a collective Life Cycle Analysis based on PEF indicators?
  • What functional properties need to be scientifically proven?
  • How can an appropriate promotion and communication strategy be adopted that would be consistent with the existing one?
  • What certification could be used to defend, organise, and promote textile Hemp?

This select steering committee is made up of seven pioneering leaders on issues related to textile Hemp, from field to podium:

  • Henri Pomikal, Flax farmer and scutcher, founder of the long fibre textile Hemp branch at the Linière du Nord de Caen cooperative (with Lin & Chanvre Bio), France
  • Benoit Savourat, grower and manager of La Chanvrière, technical fibres, and representative of Interchanvre at the Alliance, France
  • Olivier Joreau, manager of Cavac, a cooperative specialising in bio-based insulation (Hemp, etc.), and elected director at Interchanvre, France
  • Denis Druon, founder of The Flax Company, supplier of textile fibres which expanded its Flax selection to include textile Hemp solutions supported by a private LCA, France
  • The directors of two leading European spinning mills which have a selection of dry- and wet-spun Flax and Hemp yarn:
    • Pierluigi Fusco-Girard for Linifico & Canapificio (Marzotto Group), Italy, Lithuania and Tunisia
    • Olivier Guillaume for Safilin, France and Poland
  • Raymond Libeert, manager of Libeco, a Flax and Hemp weaver of textiles for fashion and home that also has a selection of finished products, Belgium

Linificio & Canapificio, Safilin and Libeco, three companies that are Masters of Linen™ certified, 100% made in Europe and Euromed. The Orientation Committee can use existing work currently being referenced.

Together, let us build a textile Hemp industry by making the most of collective action, experiences, initiatives, and work already done - that have already proven their worth - by interacting with reference organisations and sharing the results in open-source format to create an environment favourable to the development of individual projects and local initiative.

Bart Depourcq,
President of the Alliance for European Flax-Linen & Hemp

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