Unifi launches REPREVE Textile Takeback Program

Teams up with Polartec in recycling program

Unifi has announced the launch of its REPREVE Textile Takeback Program.

Millions of pounds of textile manufacturing scraps end up in landfills every year. The REPREVE Textile Takeback Program will give fabrics a second chance by recycling them back into REPREVE recycled fibers. Lawrence, Mass.-based Polartec will partner with Unifi to launch this innovative new program.

The Textile Takeback Program is a first of its kind recycling program that recycles various polyester-based fabrics, including supply chain waste and post-consumer fabrics that have reached their end of life. This waste is collected and recycled back into this new REPREVE Takeback fiber product offering.

"The industry continues to focus on ways to reduce textile fabric waste throughout the supply chain, however as a bi-product of manufacturing, waste is still created," said Roger Berrier, president and COO for Unifi. "The Textile Takeback Program provides the industry with a responsible and sustainable outlet for this waste, while expanding the growth and reach of the REPREVE brand."

Both Unifi and Polartec have worked with military apparel manufacturer, Peckham Inc. of Lansing, Mich., to define a process allowing for Polartec polyester cut-waste to be recycled back into Polartec's exclusive REPREVE 100 branded yarn. This new yarn will now include a blend of recycled bottles and fabrics and will be used to produce performance Polartec fabrics for the outdoor apparel market.

"In typical garment manufacturing, 10 to 20 percent of all fabric produced becomes cut-waste leftover after panels are cut," said Andy Vecchione, president and CEO of Polartec. "This fabric has historically been down cycled into batting or simply sent to the landfill. We can now use this waste stream to create new, first-quality performance Polartec fabrics. Polartec has pioneered the recycled fabric category and we continue our commitment to reducing our overall footprint. In 2011, over 40% of our total production will utilize REPREVE 100 recycled yarns, and we expect that number to grow in 2012 and beyond."

The REPREVE Textile Takeback Program will be expanding to include other qualified partners in the near future.

Please visit Unifi at booth 62021 and Polartec at booth 37041 at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, being held Aug. 4-7 at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City.

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