Flax fibre processor Crailar has become the latest company to sign up to Canopy's policy that commits brands to stop sourcing the raw material for their viscose and rayon textiles from ancient and endangered forests.

Crailar, which it says has launched a leading-edge policy, has committed to supporting supply chain solutions that promote responsible environmental and ethical practices in manufacturing, and the protection of global ecosystems including ancient and endangered forests.

The company is one of a growing number of solutions technology enterprises in the textile and non-wovens supply chain and a leading innovator in its commitment to only source agricultural residues.

Canopy says that, in using agricultural residue fibres to make the next generation of fabrics, Crailar offers "eagerly anticipated options" for brands and retailers seeking sustainable alternatives to fabrics currently made from ancient and endangered forests.

"The fastest way to protect the world's last endangered forests is to ease market demand for logging in these global treasures," says Nicole Rycroft, executive director of Canopy. "Canopy is working with 100 brand and retail partners to kick-start next generation solutions such as viscose and rayon made from straw. Crailar already has straw-based products on the market. We are thrilled to have this growing and innovative solutions provider as a partner in our work to protect forests."

Canopy is an environmental not for profit working to protect ancient and endangered forests by transforming the impacts of the paper and fabric supply chains. Four years ago it launched the CanopyStyle initiative, which now has over 100 international clothing brands and fashion designers, including H&M, Zara/Inditex, Stella McCartney and VF Corp, committed to end their use of ancient and endangered forests.

A key component of CanopyStyle and brands' commitments is to kick-start commercial production of fabrics and textiles made from lower-impact fibres such as straw and recycled fabrics.

"Partnering with Canopy by putting in place an ancient forest friendly policy is a natural fit," adds Jason Finnis of Crailar. "We have a product that has a lower environmental footprint than many traditional forest products and textiles and Canopy is driving a collective demand for sustainable innovation like ours."

Crailar uses an environmentally-friendly process to make flax and other bast fire residue into high-quality products while dramatically reducing chemical and water usage.

Earlier this year, VF Corp, owner of The North Face and Timberland brands, unveiled its first-ever Forest Derived Materials Policy, which sets formal guidelines for the company's purchasing preferences and use of sustainable forest materials and products.

VF Corp reveals first forest-friendly sourcing policy