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Wishing You a Merry Christmas

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and wonderful holiday season with family and friends!

24/12/2010 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

Announcing the First Sustainable, Commercially Viable Complement to Cotton

Today, we are pleased to announce that we have created a sustainable, commercially viable complement to cotton using flax as a raw material.

After successfully transforming hemp fibers into yarns and fabrics with the desirable qualities of cotton, we are now engaged in a strategic shift to use flax fibers as the foundation for the next phase of our proprietary CRAiLAR Organic Fiber technology.

“This is an industry first,” said Ken Barker, CEO of Naturally Advanced Technologies. “With cotton prices currently at 90 to 93 cents per pound, flax is a cost-effective raw material for fiber production. The productivity of our process using flax is twice as efficient as it is with hemp, yielding nearly twice as much usable fiber after going through the CRAiLAR process. Our recent spinning trials with CRAiLAR-processed flax have been highly successful, which further validates the feasibility of flax as a practical, economically viable complement to cotton.”

Flax is easy to grow with minimal use of herbicides, pesticides and engineered irrigation and is abundant in the U.S. and Canada, which significantly reduces costs from a supply-chain perspective as compared to other natural fibers. The CRAiLAR process can also be used with the stalk portion of the oilseed flax plant – traditionally cultivated for food and industrial applications – which would normally be discarded during processing. Making use of this byproduct, in addition to processing fiber-variety flax, further enhances CRAiLAR’s sustainability factor.

The all-natural, 100%-organic CRAiLAR process is the first to successfully remove the binding agents from flax that contribute to its stiff texture. The process bathes bast fibers in a proprietary enzyme wash that transforms them into soft, yet strong and durable textile fibers, which can be used in both fashion and industrial applications. Fibers made through the CRAiLAR process have the comfort and breathability of cotton, with the strength, moisture-wicking properties and shrink-resistance of sturdy bast fibers. Our recent trials have proven that flax can be spun on existing machinery to produce a yarn that can be used alone or blended with other fibers.

We are now in the advanced stages of developing partner relationships with industry giants that produce goods with fashion and industrial textiles. Spinning trials are currently underway.

“The opportunity is tremendous” added Barker. “Our ability to economically commercialize flax fibers in partnership with brands who have such broad consumer bases means, for the first time, sustainability can be affordable to everyone.”

20/09/2010 at 6:30 am 2 comments

A 360-degree view of eco-fashion

There’s been a lot of attention this week on issues related to eco-fashion, from the well-reviewed Going Green exhibit at FIT to a new report from Organic Exchange stating that sales of organic cotton apparel and home textiles increased 35% in 2009, despite the struggling economy. 

Demand for sustainable and environmentally friendly apparel is most certainly on the rise, and high-end designers and global manufacturers such as Nike, Williams-Sonoma and Walmart are stepping up to the challenge. Consumers are making purchasing decisions that help them feel better about their individual impact on the environment, but it doesn’t end when they click “buy.”  The process of transforming even organic cotton into fabric takes a toll – irrigation during the growing season leads to excessive water consumption and the manufacturing system isn’t always energy efficient. 

Levi Strauss & Co. is raising awareness about the climate impact of jeans – it turns out that a majority of the damage is done not in manufacturing, but after the purchase is made.  They’re sponsoring a Care to Air Design Challenge to address “the energy intensive method we choose for drying” clothing, with a goal of finding an innovative and sustainable way to air-dry clothes that’s more stylish and effective than the good old-fashioned clotheslines.

As consumers are developing a greater conscience about their clothing and textile purchases, we think they should also be thinking about those decisions from more angles – knowing the history and caring about the future of those beloved organic cotton skinny jeans may help you feel even better than you look.

08/06/2010 at 6:18 am Leave a comment

The Iron Butterfly

It’s hard to believe we’re just about half way into 2010; time has passed incredibly quick and remarkable headway has been made as we journey towards CRAiLAR finally becoming a household name.

Manufacturing trials with Hanesbrands and Patrick Yarns have been underway for the past several months and are going extraordinarily well.  We are elated with the progress and our partners are extremely pleased with how our CRAiLAR Organic Fibers have evolved, successfully creating blends with cotton and turning the fibers into yarns for everything from T-shirts to upholstery.

We affectionately refer to CRAiLAR as the “Iron Butterfly” due to its dichotomous properties; it’s extraordinarily sturdy yet soft and light.  Designers such as Calvin Klein and Stella McCartney have been adding hemp and eco textiles to their collections and we hope all designers (both the budding as well as the famous) will also be inspired by the Iron Butterfly’s potential.  The CRAiLAR benefits are still unmatched… the environmental-friendly process of transforming hemp or flax fibers benefit the planet – and from a performance standpoint, fans will quickly learn about CRAiLAR’s performance benefits from natural wicking properties to reduced shrinkage.

Stay tuned for more product trials and manufacturing updates!

27/05/2010 at 9:14 am Leave a comment

Clean Tech Open 2009 Wraps Up

Last nights Clean Tech Open Awards Gala was a wrap up to a year long clean technology business competition that is designed to showcase the boldest clean technology ideas, the most ambitious entrepreneurs and the brightest, most engaged investors, venture capitalists and prospective technology customers.  Gala attendees, included Google green energy czar Bill Weihl and famed venture capitalist Vinod Khosla.

The world’s largest cleantech business competition and mentorship program, is expanding across the United States, and its ideas competition went global this year, with cleantech companies from 87 countries.

Yesterdays gala brought together finalists from three Cleantech Open regions – California, Pacific Northwest, and Rocky Mountain.  Finalists got a chance to make a five-minute pitch for a green technology, product or marketing campaign in front of a crowd of 3,000 investors, entrepreneurs, and companies.  Gala attendees voted for their top picks via text message to determine the winner.

The National Prize was awarded to EcoFactor. Winning a grand prize of $250,000, $100,000 of which is seed money, EcoFactor entered in the smart grid category, with a personalized residential energy management solution for heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

The two runners-up were Alphabet Energy for their work on waste-heat recapture, and MicroMidas, which transforms raw sewage into biodegradable plastic.

The Clean Tech Open is an organization of leading entrepreneurs, academics, investors and companies, working together to find, fund and further leading edge ideas that address today’s most pressing environmental and economic challenges.

Since it’s inception in 2006, over 100 promising teams have availed themselves through the companies hands on workforce development, nurturing and funding programs.  In it’s first three years, Clean Tech Open alumni has raised over $130M in private capital, over 80% remain economically viable today and over 500 new clean technology jobs have been created.

18/11/2009 at 8:30 am Leave a comment

CRAILAR named Fabric of the Month

Crailar Fabric

We would like to thank Textile World for featuring Crailar® as Quality Fabric of the Month.

Hemp is one the most environmentally friendly bast fibers in the world requiring no pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers and very little water to grow and it can be grown in a wide range of geographical areas. Hemp exhibits up to eight times the tensile strength of cotton, and fabrics made from hemp are more insulating, absorbent and more durable.

Read Textile World’s article to find out how Crailar® made the cut!

11/11/2009 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Cleantech VC Investing Increased in Q3

Cleantech Investing

Cleantech venture continued it’s recovery in Q3 of 2009.  The Q3 2009 total is up a further 10 percent compared to the previous quarter but down 42 percent compared to Q3 of 2008.  Not only has the sector maintained the momentum it picked up in the second fiscal quarter of this year, it has emerged as the No. 1 sector in the U.S. venture investing overall.  According to Cleantech Group – 27 percent of venture capital funds invested in the second quarter of 2009 went to cleantech companies – up from 3 percent at the beginning of 2004.

The greater part of investments (61 percent) were directed to companies that are currently shipping products – compared to just 37 percent for the same period in 2008.  According to Eric Wesoff’s (Greentech Media) tally, venture capital investments totaled $1.9 billion in 112 deals.  Of that, solar, biofuels and other fuels made up nearly $1.1 billion and 46 deals – once again dominating the scene.

“Continuing growth in cleantech investment in the third quarter reflects investor confidence in the commercialization of clean technologies,” says Joseph A. Muscat, Ernst & Young Americas director of cleantech. “The diversity in this quarter’s investment activity, in terms of the technologies receiving investment and the participating investors, illustrate the potential to create value through the development of a low-carbon economy.”

To read more about the rise in cleantech investments, click here.

09/11/2009 at 7:22 am Leave a comment

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