Posts filed under ‘Industrial Hemp Commercialization’
Photography by Darryl James / Financial Post Magazine
We’re very excited to share a recent profile of NAT CEO Ken Barker in Toronto’s Financial Post. In the story, reporter John Shmuel discusses the way Ken’s vision of how an organic cotton alternative could penetrate more industries than apparel has helped NAT land some significant partnerships with global brands such as HanesBrands and Levi Strauss & Co. “There isn’t a category or industry we’re not engaged in,” Ken is quoted as saying in the article. “We have the first viable alternative to cotton, and we’re making sure everyone knows that.” Read the entire profile, including Ken’s tips for successful partnerships, read the full story here.
03/10/2011 at 12:10 pm
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.
07/09/2010 at 1:47 pm
Naturally Advanced Technologies has signed a ten month sublease of a facility in Kingstree, SC. The space has been attained for use as an initial scale-up flax fiber facility to conduct the decortication process of CRAiLAR® Organic Fibers. The facility was originally established to conduct processing of flax fiber under a USDA initiative.
In addition, the property is housed near 300 acres of flax crops that will also be utilized to conduct the company’s flax fiber growing trials taking place beginning October, 2010.
“Having a facility in the USA that we operate and manage for the dry process or decortication of our CRAiLAR Organic Fibers brings the entire patented CRAiLAR process together under NAT control, enabling us to manage our process entirely,” said Ken Barker, CEO, Naturally Advanced Technologies. “As well, the opportunity to conduct full scale flax trials furthers our vision of utilizing a variety of bast fibers as the foundation for CRAiLAR and its multiple principal uses.”
Kingstree, SC is a town of approximately 3500 people; the new facility is expected to create job opportunities for the people of Kingstree as well as create opportunities with local farmers in the surrounding areas.
10/08/2010 at 9:00 am
Due to its luxurious softness, smooth hand, flowing drape and easy price – bamboo has gained entry into the apparel and fashion industry. It’s being touted as the latest and hottest sustainable eco fabric but some are starting to question this.
There’s no denying that bamboo is wonderfully beneficial for the planet. It does not require the use of chemical pesticides, requires very little water to grown and it does not require replanting after harvesting because its vast root network continually sprouts new shoots. It’s not until we begin to look at the manufacturing processes that the “eco friendly” luster is tarnished due to the use of heavy chemicals, many of which are toxic.
Bamboo is pulped using traditional kraft pulping technology which is notoriously toxic. The bamboo fibre is ground up and treated with chemicals that turn it into a liquid pulp. The liquid is then pressed through a spinneret. The extruded streams of liquid harden into fibers that are then woven together to make bamboo fabric. Rendering bamboo from a plant to a yarn involves a chemical process – the same process that is being used for conventional rayon and viscose which are a ‘regenerated cellulose fiber’s made by man. This process is highly polluting and involves carbon disulfide emissions. Breathing low levels of carbon disulfide can cause tiredness, headache and nerve damage and it has been linked to neural disorders in workers at rayon manufacturing facilities.
The Federal Trade Commission recently sued four small bamboo-clothing manufacturers earlier this year, citing them for false labeling. The companies had used language such as “natural,” “biodegradable,” and “antimicrobial.” The FTC said, “Bamboo fabric isn’t natural since it’s a textile developed by chemists.” The agency also stated that the biodegradable and antimicrobial qualities of the plant don’t survive the manufacturing process. The FTC released the following article based on their findings – “Have You Been Bamboozled by Bamboo Fabrics?”.
CRAILAR Advanced Materials provides an alternative to the pollution caused by traditional cellulose pulping for the textile market. The CRAILAR pulping process is a much gentler process when compared to Kraft pulping and produces a pure cellulose with properties that exceed those of the best pulps on the market. The processing chemicals used, while not certified organic, are almost completely recycled. In fact, over 95% of the chemicals we use are recycled and reused while the balance is consumed during the process. Unlike many of the so-called eco fibers (bamboo and soy for example) which rely on dirty technology to process them, our patented CRAILAR Advanced Materials process is not only gentle on the fibre itself, but is also a much cleaner and sustainable approach to regenerated cellulose yarn.
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20/11/2009 at 8:00 am
In July of this year we signed an agreement with one of the foremost fiber processer/dyers in North America, G.J. Littlewoods. This agreement secured initial capacity to process approximately 40 000 pounds of CRAILAR per week, with the capability to aggressively ramp up from there to meet the needs of our commercialization plans.
Located in Manayunk Philadelphia, this family run business specializes in high temperature/high pressure dyeing of synthetic fibers as well as natural fibers. Their state-of-the-art, computer controlled machinery allows them to dye lots from 1 to 2500 lbs which allows them to meet the needs of both small and large customers with the same quality, flexibility, attention and quick response.
G.J Littlewood & Son Inc. has been living the American textile dream for 131 years. These folks take great pride in both their products and processing but above all they value customer service. Richard G. Littlewood had this to say, “G.J. Littlewood and Son Inc’s mission is to create customer partnerships that will set the tone for long term relationships in the future in order to continue a domestic source of supply for the textile industry in the U.S. We’ve come a long way in 131 years and we are quite proud of it.”
And they should be proud! We look forward to working with Littlewoods for years to come!
02/11/2009 at 7:30 am
Earlier this year we announced that we’d signed a trademark licensing agreement with the good folks at Patrick Yarns. Under the terms of the non-exclusive, non-transferable license, Patrick Yarns will make and manufacture CRAILAR Organic Fiber yarns and related products for sale and distribution in North America to third party licensees of Crailar.
Our CEO, Ken Barker, had this to say about the agreement, “Through our partnership with Patrick Yarns we will start to develop markets in denim, work wear and related apparel markets, as well as the home furnishings and carpeting industries. We are very excited to be working with Patrick Yarns, one of the foremost spinning experts in the country, in a partnership that allows us to create a pull through marketing strategy with fabric and finished goods brands. The company has an incomparable track record of partnering with its customers to develop yarns that create brand awareness and market share.”
Based in the King Mountains of North Carolina, Patrick Yarns is a family owned spinning plant with over 50 years of experience and cutting edge technology.
Where other companies have been laying off workers, Patrick Yarns remains strong with 170 employees. The companies president, Gilbert Patrick, firmly believes that their specialized business strategy and their willingness to offer above average wages and employee benefits are a direct contributor to their continuing success.
Their strategy? Instead of aiming to please all markets, they’ve chosen to partner with customers to that are looking to develop innovative and profitable products that incorporate challenging components – naturally we knew this would be a good fit!
To find out more about Patrick Yarns, check out this great article in Time Magazine.
28/10/2009 at 9:30 am