Currently Stoffkontor Kranz occupies 17 employees and has sales of 1.8 million Euro (2.3 million dollars). Kranz's products are now sold through over 1500 shops and over the internet at Nettleworld (German only). His is the only industrial scale production of nettle fabrics.
Kranz is convinced of the potential to compete with cotton. He calculates that when his operations can be expanded to 10,000 hectares, the nettle fabric made in Germany will be cost-competitive with Indian cotton, while offering substantial ecological advantages. A closer review of the webshop at Stoffkontor Kranz reveals that most of the fabrics are nettle/cotton blends, with nettle fibers composing only 5 - 43% of the fabric. One hopes the techniques being used at Kranz lend themselves to fabrics that are majority nettle, and the current low nettle contents reflect marketing strategy rather than technical limitations.
For his efforts and successes, Heinrich Kranz was awarded a special recognition in the Eco-Manager of the Year competition sponsored by WWF's German branch. Congratulations, Herr Kranz, we hope to see your ideas spread widely.
Via ::WWF Eco-manager of the Year Germany (German only)