Why We Chose The Salewa Alpine Hemp Trousers: Innovative fabric, technical design, maximum freedom of movement
Salewa are big believers in the benefits of hemp, a natural and sustainable performance fabric with a low impact on the environment. They say it is “exceptionally soft and breathable with lightweight, airy fibres that feel comfortable next-to-skin” and deliver excellent thermo-regulating, fast-wicking properties. And that’s what you get with the Alpine Hemp Lite trousers, which strike a fine balance between comfort, breathability and weight.
Who Are The Salewa Alpine Hemp Lite Women’s Trousers For?
With a technical design and a cut that maximises freedom of movement, these stretchy trousers are specifically designed for climbers. They are cool-wearing and highly breathable, so these certainly aren’t the right outdoor trousers for a spot of winter ice climbing in Scotland. But for spring and summer trad climbing, or indeed hillwalking and scrambling, they should hit the spot pretty nicely. Salewa say the trousers are ideal for “indoor climbing gyms, boulder salons and out on rock on milder days”. A men’s version of the Alpine Hemp Lite is also available.
The eye-catching headline fact about these trousers is that they’re made from hemp. If you don’t know, hemp is a type of textile made using fibres from the stalks of the cannabis sativa plant.
“These are technical trousers with a host of impressive features.”
Hemp cultivation has a long tradition in the Alps. Italy (where Salewa is based) used to be the largest producer of high-quality hemp fibres. However, in the 1960s, much of the related skills, expertise and machinery were outsourced to China. That’s why Salewa now purchase their hemp fibre from experienced farmers in Heilongjiang, a mountain region in north-eastern China – but the firm is investing 10% of the turnover from apparel sales of its extensive Alpine Hemp range into the cultivation of hemp in the alpine region, in order to “promote local, sustainable and long-term development”.