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Unifi Inc. is expanding its Repreve Recycling Center, which opened in Yadkinville, N.C., four years ago.
This story first appeared in the June 10, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Unifi said the expansion comes as it dials up its commitment to what it calls Premium Value Added products like Repreve that continue to be a strategic focus for the company. Recycling capacity at the Repreve Recycling Center will increase to 72 million pounds from 42 million pounds annually. This increase is being driven by demand from new customer adoptions with companies such as The North Face, Nike, Volcom, Patagonia and Ford, Unifi said.
The expansion is expected to create 10 new jobs, including two salary shift managers, four hourly operators and four hourly material handlers. The recent $5 million capital expenditure brings the total investment in the Repreve Recycling Center to $15 million since its opening in 2010.
Unifi’s expansion comes as North Carolina is seeing a revival in textile manufacturing, after decades of decline. Gildan Activewear is investing $250 million over the next two years to build two new yarn-spinning facilities in the state, one in Salisbury and another one in Mocksville, while the Richelieu Group, a Canadian legwear company, is spending $24 million to open a state-of-the-art facility in Burke County.
“Expanding our Repreve manufacturing capabilities highlights our commitment to the Repreve brand and provides increased flexibility to better serve our customers,” said Roger Berrier, president and chief operating officer of Unifi. “As we bring the new machinery online, it’s clear that the increased versatility will help better position Repreve to support the growth and demand for recycled products.”
The largest and fastest growing segments for Repreve continue to be apparel and automotive. The expansion increases the availability of Repreve product offerings such as lower deniers that support lighter-weight fashion trends, FR Flame Retardant yarns and WaterWise color technology.
“The expansion also reflects our commitment to remain the market leader in recycled products and sustainable solutions,” added Berrier.
The Repreve brand of recycled fibers is made from recycled materials, including pre-consumer manufacturing waste and postconsumer plastic bottles. Repreve can be found in products ranging from apparel and socks to office furnishings, automotive and medical applications.
Unifi is a multinational manufacturing company that produces and sells textured and other processed yarns, as well as premier value-added yarns with enhanced performance characteristics. The company maintains one of the textile industry’s most comprehensive polyester and nylon product offerings.