By Christina Williams, Sustainable Business Oregon
Naturally Advanced Inc. announced Wednesday that Hanesbrands Inc. will buy as much as $375,000 worth of the natural-fiber company's new Crailar Flax material for testing in its products.
Both companies recently finished trials of Naturally Advanced's new Crailar Flax product, which is being developed by the company to follow its Crailar Hemp offering, which was purchased by Hanes earlier this year.
Naturally Advanced is led by Portland-based CEO Ken Barker, a former Adidas executive. Barker said in a press release, "We believe this next step is a significant validation of our technology and we look forward to bringing Crailar Flax fiber to consumers in 2011."
Naturally Advanced had been focusing its business on a hemp-based fiber, with operations based in Vancouver, Canada, where laws don't restrict the use of hemp. In the last year, the company has focused on proving its technology with flax fiber, which is more readily available in the U.S., said Naturally Advanced spokeswoman Erin Brunner.
The company also has a processing facility in South Carolina.
Brunner said that flax is a winter crop in South Carolina that rotates well with cotton, soybeans and tobacco, allowing farmers there to double-crop their land and increase their income.
Naturally Advanced, which is traded over the counter under the symbol NADVF, raised $1.4 million in a private placement in May.