Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Georgia’s textile industry was shedding jobs and mills at an alarming rate. Many of the larger textile companies held on until the early 2000s, when they either went out of business or ceased domestic production. Today there still is s textile industry in Georgia, although most of the industry is the Dalton-based carpet industry. Most mills that exist today are smaller factories that spin or weave specialized products. One notable exception is Trion’s Mount Vernon Mills, which continues to be a large cotton mill that spins, weaves, and finishes denim fabric. The industry, which helped move the South away from its industrial base, witnessed a dramatic and precipitous decline, although a shadow of its former self still hangs on and endures.
Could hemp revitalize Georgia’s textile industry? The textile is a $3.2 trillion global industry that is the second most environmentally harmful industry right behind oil and gas production, making it perfect for six sigma hemp textile innovations.
“What makes hemp so great encompasses everything from the growing of the plant to the performance features of the plant. It uses little to no water to grow and no insecticides and pesticides. It can revitalize previously decimated soil by extracting harmful metals and toxins. In an industry where it takes over 700 gallons of water to produce one t-shirt, hemp is a welcome relief. Once hemp is processed into fiber, it gets even better. Hemp has natural performance features that we do not currently see on the market. It is durable, anti-static, anti-bacterial, biodegradable, and much more.” - Hemp - the Ultimate Textile Industry Disrupter - Brianne Kilcullen