Archive for September, 2010
This years RITE Group Conference takes place on October 6th at Central Hall Westminster in London UK. Organizers have confirmed that exhibition space has been sold out and that a line up of notable figures from the fashion and textile industries will be speaking. Speakers include;
- Vicky Murray of Forum for the Future
- Sara Giorgi of Brook Lyndhurst
- Anna Harvey of Marks & Spencer
- Dorothy Maxwell, Global View Sustainability Services
- Paul Hulme of Huntsman Textile Effects
- Tom Podkolinski of Finisterre Outdoor and Surfwear
- Thomas Ursem of Rabobank
This years theme, “Shaping Tomorrows Industry”, focuses largely on sustainability touching on subjects such as;
- Fashion Futures 2025: Making Sense of Uncertainty. Scenarios for the Future of the Industry
- Reducing the Impact of Textiles on the Environment – A Chemical Manufacturers View
- Consumer Attitudes and Behaviours Around Textile Purchasing, Use and Disposal.
- Global Cotton Production: Trends and Challenges in sustainability
- Sustainability in Textiles – Progress and Next Steps?
- Ethical Sourcing Issues
The goal and vision of RITE Group as stated on their website is to develop and provide advice and fact based information to reduce the negative environmental effects of the production, use and disposal of textiles and to drive forward the sustainable and ethical production of textiles and apparel throughout the global supply chain. They provide a forum for different sectors of the textile industry to share views and best practice and our success is based on the facilitation of discussions between industry, retail, academia, media, scientists, designers and government.
Canada’s first ever Eco Fashion Week kicked off today in Vancouver BC. Vancouver is well known for its reputation of environmental stewardship so it seemed the best pick as host city for this epic event.
The mandate of Eco Fashion Week (EFW) is three-fold.
- First, to promote environmentally conscious trends in fashion and to applaud and support national and international designers, manufacturers and retailers who are shaping these trends.
- Second, to provide opportunities for consumer education about environmentally sustainable practices in the fashion industry, explain the global and personal benefits of adopting these practices, and demonstrate ways in which individuals can make conscious changes in their wardrobe choices and reduce their environmental impact of “waste couture” on our planet.
- Third, to generate direct economic benefits for the region and environmentally friendly businesses in the fashion industry. With this mandate, EFW will establish Vancouver as a world-wide destination for environmentally friendly fashion and couture, and strengthen its image as a green, progressive, and trend-setting city.
With a great line up of seminars, trade and runway shows, as well as an inspirational group of speakers – including Summer Rayne Oakes, Dr. Andres Weaver, Mark Trotzuk and Carly Stojsic – you won’t want to miss out! Be sure to order your tickets today.
Annual General Meeting of the shareholders of Naturally Advanced Technologies will be held today at 500 Granville Street, Vancouver BC on Wednesday September 22, 2010 at 2:00 p.m PST.
NAT CEO, Ken Barker, will touch on the past years activities and looking forward, will discuss our efforts to continue to pursue the huge existing market opportunity for our sustainable, clean technology solutions.
Today, we are pleased to announce that we have created a sustainable, commercially viable complement to cotton using flax as a raw material.
After successfully transforming hemp fibers into yarns and fabrics with the desirable qualities of cotton, we are now engaged in a strategic shift to use flax fibers as the foundation for the next phase of our proprietary CRAiLAR Organic Fiber technology.
“This is an industry first,” said Ken Barker, CEO of Naturally Advanced Technologies. “With cotton prices currently at 90 to 93 cents per pound, flax is a cost-effective raw material for fiber production. The productivity of our process using flax is twice as efficient as it is with hemp, yielding nearly twice as much usable fiber after going through the CRAiLAR process. Our recent spinning trials with CRAiLAR-processed flax have been highly successful, which further validates the feasibility of flax as a practical, economically viable complement to cotton.”
Flax is easy to grow with minimal use of herbicides, pesticides and engineered irrigation and is abundant in the U.S. and Canada, which significantly reduces costs from a supply-chain perspective as compared to other natural fibers. The CRAiLAR process can also be used with the stalk portion of the oilseed flax plant – traditionally cultivated for food and industrial applications – which would normally be discarded during processing. Making use of this byproduct, in addition to processing fiber-variety flax, further enhances CRAiLAR’s sustainability factor.
The all-natural, 100%-organic CRAiLAR process is the first to successfully remove the binding agents from flax that contribute to its stiff texture. The process bathes bast fibers in a proprietary enzyme wash that transforms them into soft, yet strong and durable textile fibers, which can be used in both fashion and industrial applications. Fibers made through the CRAiLAR process have the comfort and breathability of cotton, with the strength, moisture-wicking properties and shrink-resistance of sturdy bast fibers. Our recent trials have proven that flax can be spun on existing machinery to produce a yarn that can be used alone or blended with other fibers.
We are now in the advanced stages of developing partner relationships with industry giants that produce goods with fashion and industrial textiles. Spinning trials are currently underway.
“The opportunity is tremendous” added Barker. “Our ability to economically commercialize flax fibers in partnership with brands who have such broad consumer bases means, for the first time, sustainability can be affordable to everyone.”
Two days into Texworld Paris, it’s become clear that great strides have been made in the world of eco textiles. The number of textile mills offering these products has grown by 25%. Appoximately 122 fabric mills, out of 800 exhibitors, are offering certified eco textiles as part of their collections – this equates to 15% of the total number of Asian textile producers at the show. Some exhibitors have even switched their entire collection to sustainable fabrics.
HL Ding, President of Hemp Fortex Industries, told Ecotextile News, “We recently won a large order from a leading retailer for two million metres of recycled cotton fabric and have now secured a reliable and sustainable source of used raw material. We see a big future for recycled fabrics going forward and have also decided that it’s now time to switch our complete fabric collection over to a more sustainable footing.”
Of the 800 exhibitors at Texworld Paris, 51 now have GOTS (Global Organic Textile) certification which is up from 30 companies last year. Bernd Mueller, organizer of Texworld, said that, “In addition to the traditional organic fabrics we see a noticeable increase in the breadth of the colour palette where bright reds and deep blues compliment the more neutral shades often associated with organic.”
Texworld exhibitors are now showing pride in their eco offerings by bringing them to the front of their booths as opposed to hiding them away at the back as in previous years. Consumers are voting with their dollar and it’s reassuring to see that the producers are listening!
Motive Industries, a Calgary based vehicle development firm focused on advanced materials and technologies, has announced the development of Canada’s first bio-composite bodied electric car.
The compact car, named The Kestrel, which will hold a driver and up to three passengers, will have a top speed of 90 kilometres per hour and a range of 40 to 160 kilometres before needing to be recharged, depending on the type of battery. It will be powered by a motor made by Boucherville, Que.-based TM4 Electrodynamic Systems.
The car’s body will be made of an impact-resistant composite material produced from mats of hemp. The material is being supplied by Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures, a provincial Crown corporation that provides technical services and funding to help commercialize new technologies.
The Kestrel is one of five electric vehicles being developed by Project Eve, an automotive industry collaboration founded by Motive and Toronto Electric, an Ontario material handling and electric motor company, to boost the production of electric vehicles and electric vehicle components in Canada.
The Kestrel cars will be built with the help of polytechnic schools in Alberta, Quebec and Toronto, and the first 20 cars are scheduled to be delivered next year to EnMax, a Calgary-based energy distribution, supply and service company that is taking part in Project Eve.
The vehicle’s full design will be released after the September EV 2010 VÉ Conference and Trade Show in Vancouver.