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Unifi Reaches Key Sustainability Milestone Ahead of Schedule

The company has transformed more than 30 billion post-consumer plastic bottles into its REPREVE recycled performance fibers

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(Image: www.repreve.com)

Unifi Inc., maker of recycled and synthetic yarns, has transformed more than 30 billion post-consumer plastic bottles into its REPREVE recycled performance fibers used by apparel and home furnishing brands.

“Our brand and mill partners helped us achieve this ambitious goal,” says Unifi CEO Eddie Ingle. “By making the switch to sustainable by choosing to use REPREVE, we’ve been able to keep more than 30 billion plastic bottles out of landfills. We want to thank consumers for choosing to buy products — ranging from apparel to home furnishings to shoes — made with REPREVE. Together, we are working today for the good of tomorrow.”

Unifi says it began setting recycling goals in 2017 after hitting the 10 billion bottle milestone. The company pledged to transform 20 billion bottles by 2020 and 30 billion bottles by 2022. Company leaders say they are proud to have hit the 30 billion bottle milestone in November 2021.

To put this achievement into perspective the company notes:

  • When Unifi launched REPREVE, it was initially adopted by two brands; now, more than 1,000 brands worldwide use the recycled performance fibers.
  • REPREVE fiber sales are approaching 40% of Unifi’s total sales.
  • 30 billion bottles used to create REPREVE fiber, instead of the virgin equivalent, can save enough energy to power nearly 284,000 homes in the U.S. for one year.

“We’re committed to being an impactful change leader,” says James Cooper, Unifi sustainability manager. “We anticipate companies will continue to make the switch to REPREVE, enabling us to increase recycling rates and giving plastic bottles a second life. As we look to the future, we will expand to additional brands and applications in addition to developing circular programs that allow existing textiles to be transformed into new textiles.”

Marie Fennema

Marie Fennema is the editor of the GRAPHICS PRO Daily, covering news and guidance in apparel decoration, awards and engraving, and sign and digital printing.

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