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Renaissance Fiber Announced as a Finalist for the 2021 Ray of Hope Prize

The cleantech hemp fiber company is recognized for its bio-inspired, Ecologically Invisible ™hemp fiber softening technology.

Wilmington, NC (May 20, 2021) – Renaissance Fiber is proud to announce it has been recognized as a finalist in the 2021 Ray of Hope Prize®, a $100,000 prize competition presented by the Biomimicry Institute. Renaissance Fiber is a North Carolina cleantech company that manufactures softened hemp fiber for the textile industry using an Ecologically Invisible ™ degumming process.  


The company is committed to long-term carbon negative operations and a net-positive environmental impact. Renaissance Fiber’s technology yields exceptionally clean and high quality hemp fiber from North American hemp farmers. The processing method is not only clean, but cost-effective and scaled, up to 10M pounds per year capacity today with more planned in the next year.


“We are attracted to the hemp fiber technology of Renaissance Fiber because it mimics a natural plant decomposition process to produce a softened textile fiber. The softened hemp fiber, as a natural plant fiber, will itself decompose rapidly after its useful textile life cycle, to become part of a regenerative and circular textile ecosystem. In their core technology for transforming industrial hemp stalks into textile fiber, we believe that Renaissance Fiber is effectively promoting the values of Ray Anderson and the Biomimicry Institute,” said Jared Yarnall-Schane, Entrepreneurship Director of the Biomimicry Institute.


Out of 301 applications, spanning 49 countries, Renaissance Fiber has been recognized as one of the nine companies in the running for the $100,000 prize, which will help the winning company accelerate their path to commercial success. The Biomimicry Institute’s expert selection committee will decide which nature-inspired startup will take home the prize on June 15 at Circularity.


Renaissance Fiber’s team represents a broad understanding of natural systems and how humans interact with them. The company sees this as a requirement for building industry that works for -- not against -- the environment. “It might be the preeminent challenge of the 21st century. With industrial re-emergence in America as the backdrop, we seek out the bleeding edge. Being a finalist for the Ray of Hope Prize confirms for us that others can see the pathway that we see,” said Michael Long, the company’s founder.

“Winning the Ray of Hope Prize will go a long way to affirming for others that our technology for softening hemp fiber is a clean, natural, and ecologically invisible process, “added Daniel Yohannes, the CEO of Renaissance Fiber. “We appreciate very much how the Prize offers external affirmation and validation of our business values.” 


To learn more about Renaissance Fiber, visit, or follow us on LinkedIn at or on Instagram at For more information about the Biomimicry Institute and Ray of Hope Prize, visit






Renaissance Fiber manufactures hemp fiber for the textile industry using American grown hemp and an environmentally clean process. The company has established a scaled process for degumming of hemp fibers in an economically feasible and Ecologically Invisible ™ manner. Renaissance Fiber is focusing its product development efforts on creating hemp fiber types with differential blending capabilities with cotton, polyester, wool and other common fibers in the industry. To date, Renaissance Fiber has established multiple relationships and agreements with yarn spinners, currently including NC Spinning Mills, National Spinning, and Cap Yarns, and is the preferred supplier of fiber to Hem Mills in North Carolina. Renaissance Fiber is a winner of the North Carolina NCIDEA Seed Grant award and is privately held. For more information, please visit:



The Biomimicry Institute is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded in 2006 that empowers people to seek nature-inspired solutions for a healthy planet. To advance the solution process, the Institute offers, a free online tool that contains strategies found in nature and examples of ways they are used in design. It also hosts a Biomimicry Youth Design Challenge to support project-based education; a Biomimicry Launchpad program and Ray of Hope Prize® for entrepreneurship to bring designs to market; and connects innovators through the Global Biomimicry Network.

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