This title is emblematic of a macroeconomic trend. Much of the clothing fiber produced for US markets is highly dependent on hydrocarbon inputs and cheap foreign labor. Both these resources now are primarily sourced from developing and undeveloped economies. Even organic cotton is highly dependent on hydrocarbons and irrigation water inputs. Hemp has an edge in several departments. Our neighbors in Canada allow it as a commercial crop; and both hydrocarbon and water inputs are relatively low per unit of fiber produced. (Check out the Hemptown website for some stats on water use.) With hydrocarbon prices up, the logic of the market place puts its bets on the fiber to win. We TreeHuggers saw that coming. It's fun to see the investment community catching on. From canada Newswire:- "Hemptown Clothing Inc. (NASD OTCBB: HPTWF), a leading provider of environmentally responsible natural fibers and bio- technical eco-textile research, announced today the acquisition of USD $1.4 Million of equity financing. $1.3 million will be put into Hemptown's subsidiary Crailar Fiber Technologies Inc., and will be used to begin trials on its advanced natural fiber "Crailar(TM)". The remainder of the funds will be put into general operations and marketing at the parent company, Hemptown Clothing Inc
". And there's a technology breakthrough we'd not heard of before.
In 2004 the Company secured a collaboration agreement with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) to expand its research with a biotech development of an enzyme that would unlock the economic potential of industrial hemp fiber as a cost competitive alternative to cotton. The name of this technology is called "Crailar(TM)".
Crailar is being developed as an advanced, organic, eco friendly natural fiber, capable of a multitude of commercial applications due to its strength, softness and flexibility. The Company has begun working on licensing agreements to bring the new fabrics to market through a select number of top level manufacturing firms.