Unifi Inc., aiming to expand its footprint in the sustainable textiles market, has inked a manufacturing and distribution agreement with Palmetto Synthetics to expand its Repreve line into staple fibers.
A leading U.S. producer of multifilament polyester and nylon textured yarns and related raw materials, Unifi launched its recycled line of products under the brand name Repreve in 2007. The product line utilizes recycled materials including preconsumer manufacturing waste and postconsumer plastic bottles. The Repreve fiber components are used in fabrics for apparel, automotive products and medical applications. In addition, many U.S. retailers and brands, including Patagonia, The North Face and Haggar have incorporated Repreve products into their apparel lines.
The company has been expanding Repreve over the last five to six years and in 2010 opened a 50,000-square-foot recycling center for Repreve in Yadkinville, N.C. The recycling center produces 40 million pounds of recycled fibers and is poised to expand capacity in mid to late 2014, according to Jay Hertwig, vice president of global branding at Unifi.
Building on that success, Unifi hopes to reach more customers through its agreement with Palmetto.
“This is one of the first agreements signed for Repreve and especially for staple fiber,” Hertwig said. “It enables Unifi to expand Repreve’s product offering and has opened up Repreve opportunities not only for the apparel market, but also for socks, hosiery, automotive and industrial end uses that traditionally we might not participate in as a filament supplier.”
Under the agreement, Palmetto will be a licensed manufacturer of Repreve staple fiber. The company will buy the Repreve polymer chip from Unifi, run it through a staple-fiber extruder and sell the Repreve staple fiber in natural forms and solution-dyed color forms, Hertwig said.
Palmetto is a staple-fiber producer based in Kingstree, S.C., that sells products to some of the largest U.S. yarn spinners and the new agreement will give Unifi a new range of customers.
“It gives us the ability to extend the Repreve product offering to more markets than we would have in the filament world,” Hertwig said.
He said Palmetto will replace its Nature Spun recycled brand with the Repreve brand in the next year and run programs ranging from men’s knit and woven apparel to automotive and industrial end uses.
Unifi, which posted an increase in net sales of 1.3 percent to $714 million for the fiscal year ended June 30, is banking on the growth in sustainable products. The company, headquartered in Greensboro, N.C., plans to expand the Repreve business, which accounts for 15 to 20 percent of polyester production, to represent a third of the company’s overall business over the next two years, Hertwig said.
Apparel brands also continue to expand their recycled offerings, Hertwig said, pointing to Haggar’s use of Repreve component in its Life Khaki brand.
“As a company, we have definitely invested in recycling technology and the green movement,” he said. “We believe it is here to stay.”
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye