However, Ardilla Deneys, founder of Pollima Consulting, which connects manufacturers, designers, and investors to support a circular economy using sustainable materials, says she fears the excitement around hemp—and solely hemp—could lead to more monocropping. Rather than focus on making everything out of a single crop, Deneys advocates for using plant waste as a textile. Innovative clothing designers she's worked with have already used materials like pineapple leaves (Piñatex), citrus fruits, and leftovers from different parts of the cannabis plant that normally get thrown away.
While hemp can help soil capture more carbon, that doesn't necessarily require growing more and more hemp plants. Composting products made from agricultural waste can also help capture carbon, thanks to the healthy soil microorganisms that come with the compost, Deneys explains. "If we can extend the life of all that organic matter we have, create new product from it, and then make it into fertile soil, I see that as being just as good of a solution," she says. "What I see as the real revolution for materials and sustainability is the use of cannabis waste."