The Hemp Trading Company
|Founders||Dru and Gav Lawson and Dan Sodergren|
THTC (The Hemp Trading Company) is an ethically driven underground clothing label, specialising in eco-friendly, politically conscious hemp street wear. THTC is the brainchild of brothers Dru and Gav Lawson, and Dan Sodergren. Spotting a gap in the fashion market, the trio researched the viability of producing a line of environmentally friendly, ethically produced garments and THTC was born. The company now has a basic infrastructure and team with skills in marketing, economics and finance to successfully turn an interest into a professional and ethical business.
Born out of a university hempology society, THTC was established back in September 1999 by brothers Dru and Gav Lawson who, along with friend Dan Sodergren, had a vision of creating a design-led ethical fashion brand using organic, sustainable fabrics. The company has remained at the forefront of the ethical fashion movement ever since, and Dru and Gav are founding members of the Ethical Fashion Forum (EFF).
Jeremy Smith, former Editor of The Ecologist said of THTC: “When I started work at the Ecologist magazine seven years ago the idea that environmentally friendly clothes could also be at the cutting edge of fashion was laughable. It was back then that I first met Gav and Dru from THTC. While everyone else seemed to be making ill fitting and deeply unflattering clothes that wouldn't make it into a Littlewoods catalogue, they were – years before anyone else that I knew of – actually responding to what the young people with whom they remain so connected wanted to be seen wearing. Now of course every Kate, Sienna and Lily wants to be seen in green, but for me it will always be THTC that got there first and did and said it best.” 
The mainstay of all THTC garments is organically grown hemp/cotton. Due to the prohibitive cost of hemp, garments are currently manufactured in 55% hemp, 45% certified organic cotton. All garments are produced under fair conditions in a facility based in the Shandong province of China, paying employees well over the national minimum wage for their country, as well as ensuring the presence of strong labour unions, health care and pension schemes. Company ethics demand that credibility will never be compromised in the name of revenue. THTC has a strong set of business practices to reinforce this, allowing the collective to operate as a profitable and professional company that respects its consumers, suppliers and the environment. It also aims to divest hemp of its hippie image and, as environmental and ethical awareness reaches the mainstream, intends to be at the forefront of driving hemp into the realm of credible, urban street wear, via a dynamic brand strategy, select cross-branding and strategic alliances that capitalise on the mood of a disenchanted youth. Striking designs include those created by the iconic contemporary artist Mau Mau known to many as the ethical Banksy. THTC design and marketing strives not only to be stylish but also politically conscious, delivering messages that encourage the consumer to consider and question their environment and global issues.
The brand produces merchandise for many bands, magazines, club nights and other ventures that want to make a difference. In most cases these customers are not typically ecologically minded businesses but have seen the value in environmentally conscious merchandise. THTC received endorsements and collaborations from bands Beardyman, Morcheeba and Braintax  and has also worked with legendary Reggae collective; Trojan Sound System, one of the world’s biggest hip-hop labels; Zulu Nation, and one of the UK’s most established b-boy nights; Throwdown. They’ve also joined the Burma Campaign UK and a number of celebrities to spread awareness and raise funds to help Burma’s fight for independence. In addition, within the last year THTC has been approached by both Maharishi and denim wear market leaders Lee Cooper, with a view of working on co-branded garments.
- Lawson, Gav:"www.thtc.co.uk" Retrieved November 5, 2008
- Smith, Jeremy: "Cutting-Edge Fashion With a Clear Conscience" Newconsumer.com, 8 February 2008. Retrieved 3 November 2008
- "www.thtc.co.uk" Retrieved November 5, 2008
- "Ethical Fashion Forum". Ethical Fashion Forum. Retrieved 2011-04-20.
- Sparkes, Matthew: "THTC brings musicians on board with hemp", 19 February 2008. SmartPlanet.com.