Artisans, community and government representatives, academics and farmers are discussing how to develop the fibre and dye industry in the region which is essentially no longer existent.
Farmers seek sustainable textile industry in N.S.. (If you click on the left text it will open in a new window so that you can check out the story and then come back to this window.)
In reality more than a quarter of the world’s supply of textiles come from China.* Obviously textiles are typically cheaper when produced in China because of low wages, etc. But it doesn’t stop the demand. There are new niche markets developing but really are people going to want to pay more for products made in Canada, North America? Some do, some more might, but pure economics are a driving force in people’s purchasing patterns, with conscience taking a back seat.
Am I being pessimistic? Perhaps. But I think I’m being realistic. Places such as Nova Scotia used to produce much more textiles but that has changed. It is interesting and a part of history. And, if a group of enthusiasts want to get together to look at how they can support a small niche market and summon their entrepreneurial and creative spirits, then go for it. However the article goes on to state that the “Nova Scotia government has created transition officers in the Department of Agriculture to facilitate the type of work that could result from the forum” This means that government will be involved in some way. Does this mean that after operations get going and if they run into financial trouble that the government will then be expected to jump in and bail them out? It might.
So what is the answer?
Again if these people want to do it with their own creativity then no problem. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with private initiatives but government doesn’t always have to be involved. If there’s a market, then they can do it. There are many growing industries in Nova Scotia such as wine production, wind energy, solar energy for hot water, etc. Perhaps another consideration is to look at what areas are growing instead of what’s all but dead. At the very least let’s not start out from a dependent position of requiring government support from the get go.