Posts filed under ‘Organic Apparel’

Trashing Textiles

USAgain (pronounced “use-again”) has released an info-graphic illustrating how many pounds of textiles Americans trash every year.  Pulling information from the EPA as well as running a 1,500 people survey, the green for-profit enterprise claims that 11 million tons of clothing end up in landfills each year.  The recycling firm works to reduce textile waste by providing thousands of convenient locations across the US where we can drop off our gently used clothes and shoes any time of the day, any day of the year.  By putting them back in the use cycle we conserve precious natural resources, prevent greenhouse gas emissions and save landfill space.  We at CRAiLAR think it’s not only important that we make a concerted effort to recycle our fashion by-products but also that we buy clothing that is sourced and manufactured sustainably.

12/06/2012 at 12:00 pm 1 comment

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

7 sustainable luxury brands making eco-friendly fashion

Photograph by Jean-Claude Lussier

This month, Elle Canada features seven designers that are making major strides in eco-conscious fashion.  With out minimising the incredible progress brands like Toms and Threads of Change have made for sustainable clothing, these designers are taking what could be a passing trend and making sustainable fashion timeless. VBH Animal Bags, toted by some of the top celebrities, well known for using exotic leather from crocodile or ostrich skin, are coming out with a completely animal-free line of bags.  The first bag will be available this season.  The VBH Brera, the most popular bag in their roster, has been reworked and hand-crafted by artisans in Florence from quilted black ecopelle – a manmade alternative to leather.  When it comes to shoes, materials like  discarded tilapia-skin, cork and raffia are the last you’d expect designer, Manolo Blahnik to use but that is exactly what he’s done.  Partnering with Marcia Patmos (formerly of Lutz & Patmos), he has released a full line of eco-friendly footwear.  The most innovative of the seven has to be Belgian, Bruno Pieters, whose new initiative Honesty truly embodies the definition of the word.  His line of men and women’s clothing which sources recycled, vegan-friendly and sustainable fibres, zippers, buttons and thread exposes the production process for the buyer.  Every garment’s information label will contain a full break down from raw material to finished product and the processes used.  This is an exciting prospect for CRAiLAR and our flax fiber if this were to catch on in the industry.  The price information tag will detail the cost per meter of fabric, how much was ordered and used, how much labor was involved, what the mark-up was, and how the profit was used.  Yves Saint Laurent once said “fashions fade, style is eternal.”  If greener fashion choices offer the same luxury and style that their regular counterparts do hopefully eco-friendly fashion will become less of a current statement and more of a lasting impression.  To read the full story click here.

02/04/2012 at 2:07 pm 1 comment

Lack of Eco-Clothing Hampers Sales

Consumers would increase sustainable apparel purchasing if only they could find it, according to a survey by Ryan Partnership Chicago and Mambo Sprouts Marketing.

Some 69 percent of consumers considered sustainability at least sometimes when purchasing clothing in 2011 and shoppers intend to double their eco-apparel purchases this year, according to the 2012 Styling Sustainability survey.  Click here for full story.

27/02/2012 at 3:37 pm Leave a comment

NAT, Tuscarora Team To Develop CRAiLAR® Flax Blends For New Application

Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc. (NAT), Vancouver, Canada, has granted a non-exclusive, non-transferable license to Mt. Pleasant, N.C.-based Tuscarora Yarns Inc., under which Tuscarora will design and manufacture specialty yarns containing blends of NAT’s CRAiLAR® Flax fiber with cotton or other fibers. The yarns are being developed for sale and distribution to third-party Crailar licensees. NAT expects the partnership will open avenues for the fiber’s use in heretofore-unexplored apparel and home furnishings sectors.

“Tuscarora is one of the most innovative yarn spinners in the world, and has the ability to prepare us for entry into several unexplored categories such as couture fashion, sports performance, extreme weather gear, and certain sectors of home furnishings,” said NAT CEO Ken Barker. “This agreement will seek to push the applications of CRAiLAR beyond our first phase of cotton blending and establish new market sectors for this unique and sustainable natural fiber.”

Crailar technology comprises an enzymatic process that converts bast fibers such as hemp, flax, jute and kenaf into materials that are as soft as cotton but more durable and eco-friendly, according to NAT. These bast fibers can be blended with cotton and other fibers; and can be processed using existing spinning, weaving, knitting or other fabric-forming processes. Applications range from various apparel and home textiles products to industrial textiles.  To read the full story please click here.

01/02/2012 at 3:16 pm Leave a comment

Guardian Hosts Panel on the Future of the Fashion Industry

To commemorate London Fashion Week in September, The Guardian hosted a panel discussion of fashion professionals to consider what trends await the industry. No, not style trends; this discussion focused on how the apparel industry is prioritizing and promoting ethical issues, from sustainably grown materials to fair labor practices throughout the production chain. (You can watch a video of the panel discussion here or read a summary here.)

Across the board, participants voiced a need for companies to adopt more and more ethical practices, but the question of how to do it was more divisive. Some argued that influential companies could trigger a market-wide chain reaction by their leadership, as they introduce a new standard in ethical fashion. Unfortunately, the market for sustainably produced products is still deeply niche, leadingothers to suggest that it is ultimately a problem of consumer education.

How do you think this problem can be solved? Can the industry kick-start bottom-down change? Or do consumers have to demonstrate that these kinds of practices are a priority with their spending habits? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.

07/10/2011 at 11:52 am Leave a comment

For 2012, Organic Cotton Market Is Forecasted to Grow 20%

Textile Exchange, the global organization dedicated to promoting the use of organic cotton, just released its annual Global Sustainable Textile Market Report. According to the Report, organic cotton represented a $6.2 billion industry last year and stands to grow another 20 percent in 2012, ballooning to $7.4 billion.

Along with that forecast, the Report also published its list of the top 10 corporations using organic cotton. Just a quick glance reveals that the list is filled with industry-leading apparel companies who wield strong taste-making influence, from athletic brands like Nike and adidas to big box retailer Target or mall fashion brand Zara.

At the top of the list is Sweden’s H & M, which used more than 15,000 tons of organic cotton in 2010. According to CSR Product Manager Henrik Lampa, by creating demand for organic cotton, H & M is incentivizing cotton farmers to adopt sustainable cultivation practices.

Of course, there are many experts who think that cotton, as a crop, is too difficult to sustainably grow. Given that opinion, we won’t be surprised when next year’s edition of the Report begins to track the rise of organic cotton alternatives, such as flax and hemp.

07/10/2011 at 11:52 am Leave a comment

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