Hemptown bringing wearable hemp to Texas
Hemptown Clothing Inc. News Release
August 18, 2003
(Vancouver, British Columbia) - Hemp clothing is going mainstream in Texas.
British Columbia clothing manufacturer Hemptown expects to sell thousands of hemp/cotton blend T-shirts and other garments to Texas companies through a recent deal struck with Wholesale Printables, a Baton Rouge clothing distributor. Hemptown is attending the Sept. 5 - 7 Dallas Forth Worth Imprinted Sportswear Show for the first time this year to promote its clothing.
"George Washington grew hemp, and the first American flag was made from hemp fabric," says Hemptown COO Jason Finnis. "It's been out of use for a few decades, but is now experiencing a renaissance. The word is out that hemp clothing is a durable, environmentally-sound, and comfortable fabric."
Hemptown primarily manufactures T-shirts, golf shirts, and ball caps for the corporate promotional and private label markets - the shirts corporations and organizations give out at events and to clients. Hemptown has made rapid inroads into those markets over the past three years, growing 400 per cent from $195,000 CAN in sales in 2001 to $782,000 CAN the next year. It is set to hit $3.2-million CAN this year.
"More organizations, from the BC Lions professional football team to AVEDA and Hyundai Motors, are coming to us each month looking for hemp clothing for their stores or special events," says Finnis, adding Hemptown is already doing business with several screen printers and ad specialty companies in Texas and other U.S. states. "They're interested in the novelty of the product, as well as offering customers and staff comfortable, durable clothing that uses a fraction of the toxic chemicals to grow that other clothing fiber sources use. They want to offer a shirt that fits their corporate or event philosophy, and which will actually get worn."
Both Canada and the U.S. outlawed growing hemp around World War Two because of confusion between it and its colorful cousin marijuana. In fact, hemp and marijuana have as much to do with each other as the poppy seeds on a bagel have to do with heroin. They both come from poppy plants, but from entirely different breeds of poppy plants. Canada recognized that and made growing hemp legal in 1998 under the Industrial Hemp Regulations. More than 600 Canadian farmers are now growing hemp commercially.
Hemptown was founded by Finnis and Larisa Harrison in 1995 in response to growing demand for environmentally friendly clothing. It operates a factory outlet and warehouse in Vancouver, British Columbia, and distributes products through clothing and promotional wear distributors around North America. Using proprietary technology, Hemptown product are 55 per cent hemp, 45 per cent cotton, a mix that easily accepts screen printing on standard equipment and is more economical than pure hemp cloth, but retains the strength and durability that are hemp's trademarks.
Jason Finnis, COO and Founder