LEKI has been known for its innovative spirit and high-quality standards for many years. With the trekking pole “Hemp One Vario” the company from near Stuttgart is now taking a completely new approach. Using hemp fibers as a material in safety-relevant hardware requires not only extensive material knowledge but also courage. The experimenting has paid off – the “Hemp One Vario” has now been awarded an ISPO Award. “In the end, the Hemp One Vario is the first pole that consistently pursues the use of sustainable materials. With this project, we have taken a big step forward. At the same time, we see a lot of development potential for the future,” says Matthias Hatt, CEO of LEKI.
In addition to the lightweight and robust design, the jury was convinced by the feel of the “Hemp One Vario” during testing. The sustainable approach of working with a renewable resource like hemp, which is grown just 6 kilometers from LEKI headquarters, was also highly valued. “It is the first pole that consistently pursues the use of organic materials as a replacement for aluminum and carbon”, Hatt adds. The demand is already very high, as confirmed by LEKI.
“The pole will initially be sold in 2023 as a handmade limited series as a pilot project through Globetrotter stores. Therefore, we are still working on opening up the product for broader trade, and we have a very long-term perspective,” explains Hatt. In essence, the “Hemp One Vario” is a statement for the sustainability-oriented customer who often faces difficulties in the hardware industry. Sustainability is considered particularly challenging in hardware, especially due to the materials and composites used. “For the user, we offer a versatile product in a unique design that clearly stands out and sets itself apart.” It remains to be seen how the retail development of the hemp trekking pole will continue.
Let’s take a closer look at the product: The shaft made of hemp fibers can be described as the highlight of the “Hemp One Vario”. On one hand, it is the first ever shaft made from an organic fiber composite, and on the other hand, it has a great haptics. At the same time, the entire concept of the pole is designed with the use of organic materials across multiple components. For example, the strap is made of natural linen. By the way, it’s worth mentioning that the "Hemp One Vario" is manufactured entirely in Europe. Other plastic components contain significant proportions of natural cork and hemp. During the hemp harvest in the fields of a local farmer, LEKI employees got involved themselves.
The shaft was developed in collaboration with the German Institute for Textile and Fiber Research in Denkendorf. “We have a strong regional connection with DITF and have been working in cooperation with them on various fiber composite materials for a long time. This collaboration has already resulted in numerous ideas. This excellent partnership is continuously maintained to generate and explore new ideas”, Hatt says. The “Hemp One Vario” is a pole suitable for both short and long hikes below high alpine areas. “It is versatile enough to impress in both the low mountain ranges and the Alps,” added Hatt.
Hemp is considered the new miracle fiber in this regard. Sustainability expert for the ISPO Awards, Luisa Smith, also recognizes this. “As LEKI emphasizes, the sustainable aspects of hemp are tremendous compared to other natural ingredients: it requires little water or land area and can be grown in many countries, allowing it to be grown closer to the market. Moreover, it nourishes the soil, enabling more secure harvests,” explains Luisa Smith. “Hemp is incredibly robust, so one might think of ropes, but with new technology, it develops a softer appeal.” LEKIs development provides a glimpse into what is possible in the field of hard goods. The industry will undoubtedly closely examine LEKIs flagship project. Once consumers embrace the pole positively, other manufacturers will follow suit with their innovations. An exciting time awaits us.
- Trekking pole made of hemp
- Made in Europe
- Spare parts made of hemp
- Sizes: 110 – 130 cm
- Available: spring/summer 2023
- RRP: € 240,00