Esmetex, a fabric and full package supplier for the sportswear market, has developed the first collection of casual and dress shirt fabrics that combines Unifi‘s Sorbtek performance yarn and its Repreve recycled polyester fiber.
Esmetex said the lightweight fabrics bring performance benefits to the casual and dress shirt market and are part of its effort to offer the latest in fabric development. Sorbtek offers the desired properties found in athleticwear, such as moisture wicking along with the convenience of soil release technology. Each shirt made with Repreve will contain an average of two recycled plastic bottles.
“Repreve with Sorbtek technology brings unparalleled benefits that are new to the casual and dress shirt market,” said Victor Chao, chief marketing and product development officer for Esmetex. “Consumers love the benefits of activewear, but traditionally haven’t been able to get those same benefits in their everyday casual and dress shirts. Fabrics made with Repreve and Sorbtek offer that cool, dry feeling we desire in athletic clothes, with the added benefit of keeping plastic bottles out of landfills.”
Esmetex is launching two yarn-dyed fabric blends, one with 54 percent cotton and 46 percent Repreve blend and the other made of 70 percent cotton and 30 percent Repreve. The weight for both fabrics is 4.5 ounces per square yard, and the width is 57 inches.
“We’re pleased that Esmetex turned to Unifi for eco-friendly performance technology in their latest development of lightweight shirting fabrics,” said Jay Hertwig, vice president of global branding for Unifi Inc. “Our work with Esmetex resulted in the combination of our Sorbtek and Repreve technologies in shirting fabrics for a new group of consumers who are seeking performance outside the gym.”
Known for creating partnerships with a diverse group of yarn merchants, Esmetex focuses on fabric innovation to give customers the ability to offer differentiation to retailers and consumers. A 25-year-old global apparel sourcing partner, Esmetex has marketing and sales offices in Hong Kong and New York.
Unifi, based in Greensboro, N.C., is a producer and processor of multifilament polyester and nylon textured yarns. The company’s net income fell 12 percent to $14.5 million for the six months ended Dec. 27 on sales that were off 6 percent to $318.5 million.