StexFibers has developed a technique to soften hemp fibers, so they can be used for high end textiles. Hempfibers itself have specific characteristics, but if it replaces cotton, hemp is also an environmental winner.
The environmental issues when growing cotton are huge; extreme water usage, very high amounts of chemicals are used, and the use of too much land (that could also produce food). Hemp has none of these issues. Therefore we aim at being a game changer in the near future.
In Recent years a group of engineers in coöperation with the University of Wageningen adjusted the existing technique of Steam Explosion in such a way that Hemp Fibers after treatment could be spun on existing spinning equipment; this resulted in high quality textiles.
We feel that we can create a game changing business
because of the characteristics of Hemp Fiber.
BEN RATELBAND - MSC
ROMKE DE VRIES - MSC
Holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Groningen. Following several management positions in Europe, Ben managed in the 90’s various (production -) companies in Latin America. As of 2000, Ben has focused on entrepreneurship, introducing new concepts into the market, with focus shifting to the sustainable industries.
Following his masters in agricultural science (forestry and business administration) has worked in the agri-business, food- and process industry since 1986, including Euroma Food Ingredients (1994-2002). After a successful management buy-out, Romke gained experience as entrepreneur. In 2002 he stepped back from corporate life and he dedicated his professional experience and focus to textile applications of industrial hemp fibers.
After having proven the basic technical concept on lab scale, we have built a test unit at Industrial Park Kleefse Waard in Arnhem, The Netherlands. With this equipment we will start testing several varieties of hemp, and produce samples for testing for potential customers.
Although we still are in a start-up / risky phase, we feel confident that in the course of next year we will upscale to an industrial level so we can supply several chains with our Hemp Fibers while having a significant positive impact on environmental issues by creating a sound business model