By  on April 8, 2008

The Hosiery Association and its membership work to green their businesses.

From fibers and yarns to sheers and socks, the Hosiery Association, based in Charlotte, N.C., is focusing on helping its legwear company membership understand the various aspects and sustainability implications of implementing eco-friendly programs and helping consumers wade through the clutter of various green labels to make environmentally friendly buying decisions.

THA's major goal this year is to position itself as "the go-to entity for legwear information, thus offering consumers information that should enable them to make an educated purchasing decision," said Sally Kay, THA president and chief executive officer. Reflecting this, the association is working on changes to its Web site (, adding a new section titled "Green Feats: Pairing Innovation With the Environment." "Its purpose is to provide information for the legwear industry, the retailer and the consumer," said Kay. "From an industry perspective, the more knowledgeable it is about sustainable manufacturing processes, the more effective it can become in making sound business decisions to help both consumers and the environment."

Underscoring THA members' commitment to environmental responsibility, a number of companies are adding eco-friendly aspects to their business. "This includes many parts of the supply chain including natural fibers and a high percentage of cotton yarns; packaging innovation using less material and biodegradable materials, and overall energy conservation, including ongoing reduction in water consumption," said Bill Nichol, chairman of both THA and Gildan USA. "Our membership will lead the global hosiery industry in offering green opportunities to our customers."

For example, Unifi Inc., the Greensboro, N.C.-based diversified producer and processor of multifilament polyester and nylon textured yarns and related raw materials, has had its Repreve family of recycled polyester yarns independently certified for 100 percent recycled content by Scientific Certification Systems, a leading third-party auditor, certifier and standards developer. For every pound of Repreve yarn used, "Some 61,000 BTUs are conserved," according to Bett Anderson, marketing manager of SCS.

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