Alternative Fibres in High Demand

18/11/2010 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

With so much talk about the soaring costs of cotton these days, we thought we’d offer a fresh perspective from the other side.

Due to undesirable weather conditions including flooding, cold snaps and hailstorms, cotton crops are coming up short this year and with the world’s demand of cotton so high, prices have been skyrocketing – rising almost 80% since July.  With global apparel prices stagnant for some time now,  apparel manufacturers and exporters are being hit hard.  Companies like Jockey, Liz Claiborne, Levi’s and Hanes are in search of a solution so as not to have to pass this price hike onto consumers.

While some are in search of cheaper cotton sources in Banglasdesh and Vietnam, others are attempting to find alterntive cost effective yarns to blend into their cotton garments.  You’d be surprised at the increase of emails we’ve received lately from spinners, knitters and manufacturers from around the world, enquiring about the availability and pricing of our CRAiLAR® fibres.

Both Levi’s and Hanes have stated that they will be integrating new materials into their products in order to lower costs, Bon-Ton chain is switching from 100 percent cotton in items like sweaters to more acrylic blends.  Liz Claiborne, which makes brands like Juicy Couture and Kate Spade, is also playing with some of the materials it uses.  One example, said spokeswoman Jane Randel,  would be shifting from some imported Italian fabrics to “suppliers who produce their own raw materials or yarns”.

Ms. Johnson,  an analyst with First Capital Group, stated that “We may be training a new generation to be far more accepting of synthetic fibers, which is likely to hurt cotton’s market share in the long run.”

We believe that companies can blend their way out of the cotton dilemma.  However, with the higher demand from manufacturers switching away from cotton mixed with the anticipated rise in oil costs, the price of polyester and other synthetic fibres continue to rise  – nearly 25% this past year.  So, are synthetic fibres the solution?

We believe that CRAiLAR® Organic Fibres are the foundation of the first truly sustainable yarn in the apparel industry, and are poised to become the revolutionary next step in sustainable fibres, providing an economically sustainable complement to cotton.

Created using bast fibres such as flax, hemp, jute and kenaf, the yarns made from CRAiLAR® Organic Fibres can be used in knit, woven or nonwoven fabrics, alone, or blended with other natural fibers.  CRAiLAR® can be used in both mainstream and alternative apparel and fashion fabrics, as well as industrial textiles.  Through spinning trials, CRAiLAR® Flax was found to be of very high quality and ideally suited for fine knit items such as T-shirts.

With cotton prices currently well over a dollar per pound, flax is a cost-effective raw material for fibre production.  We estimate that we will be able to provide CRAiLAR® Flax at approximately $0.90 per pound making it an econimically viable complement to cotton.

 

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Entry filed under: Business, Cotton, Flax, Sustainability, Textiles. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

Organic vs. GMO – There’s No Comparison Made in the USA….Can it Be?

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