Archive for June, 2011

Shaping Sustainable Fashion

The production, use and eventual disposal of most clothing is environmentally damaging, and many fashion and textile designers are becoming keen to employ more sustainable strategies in their work.  Shaping Sustainable Fashion provides a practical guide to the ways in which designers are creating fashion with less waste and greater durability.

Based on the results of extensive research into lifecycle approaches to sustainable fashion, the book is divided into four sections:

  • Source explores the motivations for the selection of materials for fashion garments and suggests that garments can be made from materials that also assist in the management of textile waste.
  • Make discusses the differing approaches to the design and manufacture of sustainable fashion garments that can also provide the opportunity for waste control and minimization.
  • Use explores schemes that encourage the consumer to engage in slow fashion consumption.
  • Last examines alternative solutions to the predictable fate of most garments – landfill.

Illustrated throughout with case studies of best practice from international designers and fashion labels and written in a practical, accessible style, this is a must-have guide for fashion and textile designers and students in their areas.

23/06/2011 at 8:56 am 1 comment

Los Angeles Times Covers the Benefits of CRAiLAR

This past weekend, the Los Angeles Times did a three-part feature on cotton and alternative fibres.  We were included in one of the three stories.  Have a read to find out what they have to say about CRAiLAR and other various fibres such as tencel, hemp and bamboo.

Much as they’re trumpeted by so-called eco-designers, plant-based alternatives to cotton are a minuscule piece of the fashion puzzle. Dwarfed by cotton and synthetics such as polyester, spandex and rayon, textiles made from flax, wood pulp, hemp and bamboo make up less than 2% of the market. But that percentage is growing due to consumer and corporate demand, as well as technological advancements that make natural fibers easier to transform into wearable fabrics.

To get the full story, click on the link below.

Beyond Cotton:  Which Alternative Fabrics are Eco Friendly?

Fabrics at a Glance

Cotton That’s Kinder to the Planet

21/06/2011 at 6:48 am Leave a comment

Wet Spring, Lousy Harvest Mean Higher Prices

U.S. food prices are expected to stay high through 2012 because a wet spring will likely cut the size of this fall’s corn harvest.

And cotton has woes of its own, but for the opposite reason: a drought in Texas.

The government said on Thursday that The United States will have a surplus of just 695 million bushels of corn next year, less than the 900 million estimated last month.

The Agriculture Department said rain delayed planting schedules and will likely diminish crops by harvest time in September. This followed a more optimistic forecast in May, which predicted a drop in corn exports that could have replenished U.S. food supplies and eased prices.

More expensive grain has led to food price increases this year. Manufacturers and grocery stores have passed higher costs on to consumers. For all of 2011, the USDA predicts food prices will rise 3 percent to 4 percent.

To read the full story and to learn more about alternatives to cotton, visit

15/06/2011 at 6:55 am Leave a comment

NAT and Ashland Inc. Agree to Jointly Develop CRAiLEX High Grade Dissolving Pulp

Today we are pleased to announce that we have entered into a joint development agreement for CRAiLEX™ high-grade dissolving pulp with Hercules Incorporated, a subsidiary of Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH).

CRAiLEX is the brand name for the purified pulp created from our exclusively held patented process.  In recent tests, CRAiLEX has proven to exhibit higher-grade value pulps than any other hard- or soft-wood pulps.  The pulps are being used by Ashland to create their line of cellulosic products for multiple industries.
“This is the start of our CRAiLEX technology roll out,” said Ken Barker, CEO of NAT.  “In the same manner and strategy we employed to bring our CRAiLAR® technology to commercialization, partnering with an industry leader such as Ashland Inc. is a key milestone in the development of CRAiLEX.  We are extremely proud of the opportunity and partnership potential in working with Ashland.”

13/06/2011 at 6:53 am Leave a comment

Force of Nature: The Unlikely Story of Wal-Mart’s Green Revolution

Wal-Mart—the world’s largest, arguably most powerful corporation—has long been plagued by terrible PR and a never-ending slew of lawsuits.  Enter Jib Ellison, river guide turned corporate consultant, determined to convince executives that making a profit and building a sustainable business are not mutually exclusive and would, in fact, confer a powerful competitive advantage.

Ellison has instituted a project at Wal-Mart called “The Index” that challenges suppliers to root out inefficiency and waste.  Packaging has shrunk, saving millions of gallons of water, millions of pounds of cardboard, not to mention diesel fuel.  Wal-Mart’s sheer size, coupled with its lowest-pricing mission, means that producers are forced to take steps toward sustainability—and make natural, organic, and earth-friendly products widely available.

Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Humes offers a stirring story of how ecologically responsible practices are increasingly benefiting the bottom line, and how as Wal-Mart goes global , the biggest retailer in the world is, slowly but surely, encouraging a change for the better.  A fascinating, fair-minded look at the congruence between environmentalism and business, and the behemoth at the intersection.



09/06/2011 at 6:27 am Leave a comment

NAT Enters Into Development Agreement with Cintas Corporation

Today we are pleased to announce that we have entered into a short-term CRAiLAR® Flax fibre development agreement with Cintas Corporation  beginning June 2011 to support evaluation of processing CRAiLAR flax fibre in corporate identity uniform programs.

“Cintas is the leading uniform brand in the U.S. and we are looking forward to supporting their manufacturing processes,” said Ken Barker, CEO of NAT.  “This agreement is further validation that NAT promises a significant impact for global corporations from both a sustainability and performance standpoint.  We look forward to showing Cintas how CRAiLAR can perform across its product categories.”

Based on previous testing, we expect CRAiLAR Flax fibre to deliver increased durability and longevity to the uniform market due to the tensile strength of CRAiLAR. In addition, CRAiLAR’s ability to wick moisture should provide users of Cintas uniforms a more comfortable uniform to wear in hot summer months.

 Since March, we have announced a 10-year purchasing agreement with Hanesbrands, along with development agreements with Georgia-Pacific and Levi’s.  Hanes represented the first commercialization agreement for our CRAiLAR flax fibre.  We anticipate further marketing plans for Hanes to be announced later this year.

 About Cintas:

Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ: CTAS) provides highly specialized services to businesses of all types.  Cintas designs, manufactures and implements corporate identity uniform programs, and provides entrance mats, restroom supplies, promotional products, first aid and safety products, fire protection services and document management services to approximately 800,000 businesses.  Cintas is a publicly held company traded over the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol CTAS, and is a component of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.


07/06/2011 at 5:53 am Leave a comment

The Future of Fabric Structures

Fabric is one of the oldest materials humans have used for shelter; it remains an important material with diverse applications in design and construction today, and it will play an even more important role in the constructed environment in the future.

Predictions of energy scarcity and resource depletion, exacerbated by the burgeoning middle class in developing countries like China and India, point to ensuing decades of high commodity prices and fuel shortages.  In these circumstances, existing resources and structures will be valued more highly, and traditional, energy-intensive practices like “raze and rebuild”—in which buildings are demolished to make way for others—will be less attractive.  Instead, architects and builders will have to be more resourceful in their treatment of existing contexts and materials.

CLICK HERE to read the full story in Specialty Fabric Review.

03/06/2011 at 5:00 am Leave a comment

Behind the Rising Price of Polyester

For years, the primary indicator of polyester fiber or filament cost was the fluctuation in petroleum prices.  If the price of a barrel of oil increased, so did the price per pound of the base synthetic ingredient: polyester staple fiber (PSF).

“This last eight months has been different,” says Alasdair Carmichael, president of the Americas division of the U.K.-based PCI Fibres. “Oil has been increasing, but the rate of increase at the fiber level has been greater than the increase at the oil level.”  A new factor has come into play in the past year, and it’s surprised industry watchers.  The price increases this year are demand-driven, Carmichael says, and the additional demand is due, in large part, to a shortage of cotton.

CLICK HERE to read the full story in Specialty Fabric Review.

01/06/2011 at 9:09 am Leave a comment

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