Posts filed under ‘Business’

Patagonia Bares All with The Footprint Chronicles

Patagonia started The Footprint Chronicles in 2007 back when “corporate transparency” was not a buzz word.  Not entirely sure where The Chronicles would lead them they began with the notion that if the information they were receiving had them squirming in their seats they were probably on the right track.  Taking a close and personal look at their suppliers and manufacturers Patagonia has invested time, money and their employees into creating the most sustainable and eco-conscientious products for their consumers.  Something the industry now likes to call corporate responsibility.

They have since added to and expanded their transparency.  A global supply map displays the location of Patagonia’s material sourcing.  They even have a reference library which holds all information on the textiles they use, the treatments they go through and the processes as well.  With everything from paper use to compostability, Patagonia dedicates itself to leaving nature as uninterrupted as possible and rather themselves exposes the deepest roots of their corporation.  As stated in The Footprint Chronicles mission statement we couldn’t agree more that when one company can reduce or eliminate a harm, other businesses will be eager to follow suit.

16/05/2012 at 5:35 pm Leave a comment

NAT and Lenzing Fibers enter into Joint Development Agreement

 Naturally Advanced Technologies and the Austria based company, Lenzing Fibers, the world wide leader in cellulosic man made fibres, have entered into a joint agreement.  NAT’s CRAiLAR Flax is to be blended with the Lenzing Fibers TENCEL® and Lenzing Modal®.

“This is an important development for CRAiLAR Flax in that, to-date, both of our commercial and exploratory partnership agreements have been focused on how CRAiLAR can blend at varying levels with natural fibers for apparel, home and industrial applications,” said Ken Barker, Chief Executive Officer, Naturally Advanced Technologies. “With Lenzing, we can now evaluate the opportunity to expand the host fibers with which CRAiLAR can blend to identify new performance attributes, applications and industries. This is truly a new frontier for the future of our natural fibers, and working with the global leader Lenzing creates a very powerful industry platform in both sustainability and performance. This partnership will have applications in industry sectors where polyester fibers have been the norm, in addition to our existing applications as a sustainable complement to cotton.”

Lenzing, the only company worldwide to house the manufacturing of each of these three manmade cellulosic fiber generations on an industrial scale, recently released its eco MicroModal® fiber at Paris Fashion Week in February 2012.   Shortly following, Lenzing announced a record-setting year at the company with double-digit growth in sales and profits.

“With CRAiLAR Flax and the applications that we have discussed to date, we look forward to taking advantage of its unique attributes, and to extending the range of products we can introduce with CRAiLAR Flax to our global brand partners,” said Peter Bartsch, Head of Marketing Apparel.

The agreement, signed April 24, calls for CRAiLAR to be evaluated according to specifications for any of Lenzing’s cellulosic fiber categories.  Lenzing is a pioneer in global fiber markets dating back nearly 75 years.  Its raw material for fibers is wood, which is the basis for producing dissolving pulp subsequently processed into cellulose fibers. Its commitment to the principles of sustainability has led Lenzing to be recognized for setting some of the highest environmental standards in the industry.  To read the full press release please click here.

10/05/2012 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

Pamplico Facility: Update in pictures

Following our last update, we have included a few more pictures documenting the progress we are making at our Pamplico Facility.  The inefficient lighting has been stripped from the ceiling and old ductwork has been dismantled.  These materials will then be organized and carted off to the recycling center.  All asbestos has been removed and contained properly.  The lead paint has been encapsulated which brings the building up to code.  We’re closing in on next steps and ready for the deliveries and installation of the rigs and supports, creating the “skeleton” upon which all of our equipment will operate.

Lights and ducts stripped from the ceiling

Sorted and ready for recycling

Asbestos removed and contained

 Electrical work

Engineers onsite

Speak to you soon!
The CRAiLAR team

09/05/2012 at 12:55 pm 2 comments

OSU to host Sustainable Textiles Symposium

On May 14th, Oregon State University will be hosting the Sustainable Textiles Symposium.  Steve Richardson of Patagonia will discuss the environmental footprint of apparel.  Becky Hurd of NIKE  will speak about new production techniques.  Jay Nalbach of NAT will be shedding some light on  sustainable fiber development.

The Symposium will feature seven presentations from West Coast based textile and apparel companies and businesses involved in the manufacturing, dyeing, recycling, certification, labeling, and design of sustainable textiles. Two roundtable discussions will offer students and the community a chance to ask in depth questions of the speakers on sustainability issues.

The Symposium is made possible through a 2012 grant from the Student Sustainability Initiative of OSU and the Department of Design and the Human Environment (DHE).

All presentations will take place in the Austin Auditorium at the Lasells Stewart Center, OSU, Corvallis Campus. All Roundtables will be in a designated Ag room also at the Lasells Stewart Center.  To see the full breakdown of speakers and details for the event please click here.

You can visit the OSU Student Sustainability Initiative (SSI) here.

07/05/2012 at 10:25 am Leave a comment

Harvest Time

As mentioned Wednesday this week, we would like to keep you updated on how things are going with the flax harvest this spring.  At the risk of sounding a bit smug, we can confidently say that our efforts are bearing fruit, seed and straw in our case.

We have been working on growth trials, trying various strains of flax from around the world, and testing the fields for a few seasons, and we are getting very close to harvest in South Carolina.  Winter growing is a bit of a challenge but flax is proving itself to be a very robust and hardy plant.

Below is a series of snaps that we’ve taken over the past week or so.  We’ve also been getting our growers together and up to date on the latest harvesting methods, equipment and building some good, old-fashioned CRAiLAR team spirit along the way.

Tending the field, assessing the crops’ progress


 Flax in bloom

Flax blossoms close up

Flax seed bolls closeup

Shelbourne Header fixed to the combine

 Shelbourne Stripper Header refresher course

 Setting up the mower (the flax straw will be cut as close to the ground as possible)

 Flax straw mowed and allowed to ret.  Next stop: Pamplico  

Speak to you soon!

The CRAiLAR Team

04/05/2012 at 10:08 pm 2 comments

Target Hits a Bullseye Introducing Sustainability to a Mass Market

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Target is on the forefront of marketing when it comes to sustainability. With green commercial production and their ban on sand blasted jeans, Target is evolving the way they communicate with their consumers.

Focusing on social responsibility Target features brands like Method, Burt’s Bees and Yes To on their blog. These brands emphasize their actions; what they do rather than what they do not. Words like “anti” are left out and a more positive focus on the benefits of their products are highlighted.

Companies that feel the pressure of wanting to sell socially responsible products but worry about their sales falling short could take a cue from Target, who have hit the mark. To read the full story please click here.

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03/05/2012 at 12:29 pm 1 comment

New CRAiLAR Facility: update in pictures

We’ve been working fervently at our new CRAiLAR facility in Pamplico, SC, since we announced signing the lease in March this year.   As one can imagine, it’s not overnight that you can repurpose a former spinning mill into a newly designed and engineered facility, but we’re doing just that. Engineering the blueprints and purchasing new equipment began a while ago, and now we’re very happy and extremely proud to put these months of planning and hard work into action.  We also thought it would be interesting to show everyone what we’re up to, keeping you updated on our activities and progress along the way.  It’s certainly turning out to be dusty, sweaty, exhausting work, but we’d have it no other way.  There’s nothing we like better than getting some dirt under our fingernails.

 

CRAiLAR’s new home in Pamplico, SC.

 

Our engineering partners hard at work finalizing plans and blueprints.

 

Stack plan for flax bales prior to processing.

 
Our building cleaned out, prepped and ready for construction.

 

We’re raising the roof, so the ceiling comes down first.

 

Adams Electrical on site to ensure we don’t zap ourselves!

 

The dust promises to only get heavier, please stay in touch and look out for further updates… next project: Harvest time.
Speak to you soon!
The CRAiLAR Team

02/05/2012 at 12:40 pm 2 comments

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