The friendliest fiber on the planet™
The future of fiber
Based on forecasted population growth, the global demand for cotton will double by 2030. But there is simply not enough water or land for cotton alone to accommodate that order of growth, leaving a gap of 22 million tons or more. Man-made cellulosic fibers, such as viscose, as well as synthetic fibers can help narrow that gap but, in the case of synthetics, production depletes precious natural resources such as petroleum, coal, and natural gas.
Still, studies have shown that consumers overwhelmingly prefer to wear natural fibers. According to Cotton Inc.’s 2011 Lifestyle Monitor™ Survey, 76 percent of consumers say that their favorite fibers to wear are either all-natural or all-natural blends. Taken together, that clear consumer preference, diminishing resources for cultivating cotton, and synthetic fibers’ dependence on petrochemicals translate to an enormous opportunity for non-cotton natural fibers.
To keep pace with these growing demands and give consumers access to their fibers of choice, the textile industry must develop a new, sustainable path to clothe the world and end the cycle of environmental harm.
We believe we have found a renewable and preventative solution to the global fiber gap in CRAiLAR Flax. It is a hearty, fast-growing rotational crop that requires minimal pesticides, herbicides, fertilizer, and irrigation. According to a study published by the World Wildlife Federation, a single kilo of finished cotton fiber requires between 7,000 and 29,000 liters of water. Based on its two-year lifecycle analysis, Cotton, Inc. reports that a kilo of finished cotton requires 2,120 liters, while Field to Market, a third-party initiative for sustainable agriculture, believes that figure is closer to 1,917 liters per kilo. Those studies represent a wide range of findings, but, in every case, the amount of water required is undeniably significant, especially considering that 73 percent of all cotton is produced on irrigated land.
Based on our ongoing research, a kilo of CRAiLAR Flax only requires 17 liters to produce the same quantity of finished fiber — 99 percent less water than cotton, using Field to Market’s research. Factor in far fewer pesticides and herbicides and it’s easy to see how CRAiLAR Flax can help conserve the world’s water for other uses. For such reasons, the USDA has designated CRAiLAR Flax Fiber 100% BioPreferred®.
Changing the world feels great
In the past, flax’s application as a fiber has been limited by its structure, which allowed it to be woven into linen, but not knitted like cotton. Developed in collaboration with the Canadian National Research Council, the all-natural, enzymatic process used to create CRAiLAR unlocks the potential of flax as a high-performing, eco-friendly natural fiber.
Once the fiber is harvested, it is left in the field where natural moisture begins to loosen the raw flax fiber from the soft inner core, known as shive. Next the retted straw, that has been let in the field to soften the fibers, is decorticated by having the outer layer removed by a machine completing the process of separating the fiber from the shive. Finally, the raw fiber is treated with the proprietary CRAiLAR process to remove stiffening lignins from the flax, resulting in a fiber with cotton’s softness and durability. Based on ongoing testing, garments made of or blended with CRAiLAR Flax Fiber outperform pure cotton.
CRAiLAR Flax Fiber is strong, dries quickly, and shrinks less. It wicks in a similar manner to synthetics, while offering the breathability and comfort of cotton.
The revolution is only beginning
Right now, we’re focusing on integrating CRAiLAR Flax Fiber into the apparel and textile industries, but flax has far-reaching potential beyond fiber and can be used in a wide range of applications. Flax seed can be used for dietary supplements, linseed oil, and livestock feed, while its 100% biodegradable shive — the plant's soft inner core — can be transformed into fuel pellets, animal bedding, and consumer goods packaging. In other words, fiber is just the beginning of an all-natural, flax-fuelled future.
CRAiLAR has partnered with some of the world’s biggest brands with the goal of making all-natural, sustainably produced clothing and textile goods accessible to all.
When you wear CRAiLAR Flax Fiber, you are not just enjoying a high-quality garment. You are demonstrating that a return to nature is the best path to a sustainable future and that environmental stewardship is no longer an option for textile and apparel companies.
At CRAiLAR, we believe you shouldn’t have to choose between saving money and saving the world.
Where to find CRAiLAR
Currently, Target®, Hanesbrands Inc., PVH Corp., Brilliant Global Knits, Lenzing, Carhartt®, Georgia-Pacific, Cintas®, and other textile companies are incorporating CRAiLAR Flax Fiber into their products to offer consumers access to high-quality, all-natural goods. As products and garments containing CRAiLAR Flax Fiber make their way from research and development labs to the shelves of your favorite stores, we'll announce what they are and where they can be found. So keep an eye on our blog for the latest information on CRAiLAR Flax Fiber products.
Join the CRAiLAR revolution
Support the CRAiLAR Revolution by asking your favorite brands where you can buy their products that contain CRAiLAR Flax Fiber. If your favorite brand doesn't use CRAiLAR Flax Fiber, tell them why they should.
You can help, too. When you tell others about CRAiLAR Flax Fiber, you’re promoting awareness of the value of investing in a naturally sustainable future.
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