Posts tagged ‘Hanesbrand’
Today, we are pleased to announce the signing of a ten-year CRAiLAR® Fibre supply agreement with Hanesbrands Inc. that will commercialize our proprietary fibres. This represents our initial commercialization agreement for CRAiLAR® and establishes the foundation for continued adoption of its proprietary flax-based fibre.
Our all-natural CRAiLAR® process is the first to remove the binding agents from flax that contribute to its stiff texture by bathing it in a proprietary enzyme wash. The result is a textile fibre that merges the strength and durability of flax with the most desirable attributes of cotton. Yarns made from CRAiLAR® fibres can be used in knit, woven or non-woven fabrics alone, or blended with other natural fibers used to manufacture apparel products similar to those marketed by Hanesbrands, a leading basic apparel company based in Winston-Salem, N.C.
“This agreement is a strong validation of our CRAiLAR® technology and a demonstration of its ability to perform within the Hanesbrands family,” said Ken Barker, CEO of NAT. “The Company has been working toward this agreement since the collaborative partnership with Hanesbrands began in August 2009, and we expect to begin shipping to our full existing capacity beginning next month. Hanesbrands has been an invaluable partner to our proof of concept and we look forward to expanding our relationship with them and others as we move forward.”
CRAiLAR® Flax is soft like cotton, has a similar color, possesses similar performance traitsand is comfortable to wear year-round. CRAiLAR® Flax and cotton look the same, fit the same and wash the same. Yet CRAiLAR® Flax fibres shrink less than cotton fibres, wick moisture better, and have increased dye uptake, meaning they require fewer chemicals to achieve the same depth of colour.
The agreement is the culmination of a multiphase joint development agreement announced in August 2009 with the intent to commercialize CRAiLAR®. Hanesbrands made its first purchase of 10,000 lbs of CRAiLAR® in the first quarter of 2010 and, after successful spinning trials, announced a final evaluation phase in Q2 2010. In December 2010, the companies announced additional product testing that called for Hanesbrands to purchase up to $375,000 of CRAiLAR® Flax fibre between December 1, 2010 and early 2011.
Our CEO Ken Barker announced yesterday at the Texworld 2011 Conference in New York that the we are fully prepared to begin shipping initial orders of CRAiLAR® Flax Fibre from our Kingstree, SC facility as early as March of this year and have developed the capacity to rapidly increase production thereafter to meet the demands of our development partners and to respond to increasing interest from new customers in the denim, workwear, home furnishings and knitwear markets.
“We are fortunate to have flax fibre harvested from previous seasons available in our warehouse, which allows us to begin production immediately,” Barker said. “Additionally, our CRAiLAR® technology unlocks the potential of flax straw harvested from the oilseed industry that can potentially be processed into yarn suitable for hosiery, denim, knitwear and home furnishings. Last year’s harvest produced an exceptionally high yield, giving us the ability to increase production very quickly.”
“The fibre industry is significant in size and complexity,” Barker said. “Developing flax strains capable of accessing all sectors of the industry is critical for our continued growth. Our research project has already resulted in 200 acres of flax being planted in the Kingstree region this past winter, which will be ready for harvesting this spring, adding to our production capabilities in the upcoming year.”
We announced in November of last year that we had concluded all of the trials with our commercialization partners, and as a result had received a short-term flax fibre supply agreement from Hanesbrands. We expect to complete commercialization agreements shortly.
The North Carolina College of Textiles will be hosting a sustainability workshop for the textile industry beginning this Thursday, November 11th through November 12th.
The purpose for the workshop is to present key concepts regarding sustainability for the textile industry in the areas of innovation, energy, and the environment. Information regarding best practices for reducing energy costs and environmental impacts will be presented to promote industry-wide sustainability.
It is hoped that through this conference that participants will collaborate to address sustainability issues and promote work in the following areas.
- Reducing operating costs
- Reducing energy consumption
- Reducing resource consumption
- Reducing environmental impacts and emissions
- Benchmarking energy and environmental performance
- Marketing companies and products that incorporate sustainable practices
Notable speakers at the event include David Bennell, of Organic Exchange, who will be discussing Global Sustainable Textile Trends and Marketplace Developments and Tommy Thompson, of Hanesbrands, who will discuss Sustainability: Impacting Policy and the Future of Apparel and Textiles.
Gone are the days of $5 tees and undies. Shoppers will begin to pay more for clothing next year as skyrocketing cotton prices force companies to take their chances with price increases even as consumer demand remains slow.
Cotton prices have been driven higher by demand from developing countries, mostly China and India, where rising wealth is boosting consumption patterns. Severe weather is also to blame, with heavy rains in China and flooding in Pakistan damaging many crops and limiting cotton supply.
Companies like Jones Group, which includes lines Nine West and Anne Klein, and Hanesbrand plan to raise prices on clothing by as much as 10%. When cotton prices began to rise a year ago, retailers and manufacturers were uncertain how much of the cost would be passed along to consumers but with cotton now up approximately 80% since the beginning of the year, apparel companies can no longer eat the costs.
Children’s clothing manufacturer and retailer Carter’s Inc., which includes OshKosh B’Gosh brand, said in October that costs for its spring 2011 product rose 11% and that it expects costs to rise even further for fall merchandise.
“The price increases mark a sharp reversal in apparel price trends, which have been deflationary for at least a decade”, says Emanuel Weintraub, a retail consultant. “The moves are setting up a “high-stakes poker game” with retailers”, he says, “who are reluctant to accept price increases while their customers remain in a thrifty mood”.
“Larger, well-capitalized vendors are more likely to have the bargaining power to convince retail partners to pass through the increases but some of the smaller firms could be forced out of business”, says Mr. Weintraub.
Retailers have been shielding customers from the full impact of commodity price rises for some time now. Weak consumer confidence means retailers are competing even more fiercely for the limited discretionary spending available. That situation is unlikely to change from now until Christmas, with retailers clamouring to win the attention of cash-strapped consumers through discounting and promotions.