Unifi's Repreve plant.

Unifi Inc. continues to expand the global footprint of its Repreve recycled fiber, entering into Vietnam by signing a licensing agreement with Century Synthetic Fiber Corp.

Under the deal, Century Corp. will manufacture, sell and distribute Repreve filament yarn in Vietnam, and Unifi Textiles (Suzhou) Co. Ltd., Unifi’s subsidiary in China, will manage sales and distribution of Repreve filament yarn exported from Vietnam.

Unifi said this collaboration will open distribution channels for Repreve in a key apparel-producing region, helping to fulfill increasing demand and shorten lead times to the company’s customer base.

Headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City, Century Corp. is one of the largest polyester yarn manufacturers in Vietnam. Century Corp. was established more than 15 years ago and continues to invest in its operations and expand capacity.

“Vietnam has been a region of focus for brands and retailers over the past few years,” said Tom Caudle, president of Unifi. “The growth in the region cannot be ignored, with exports of approximately $27 billion of apparel and textiles in 2015, and expectations to grow to $30 billion in 2016. Within the past 18 months, we’ve grown distribution of Repreve to include Turkey, Taiwan, Sri Lanka and now, Vietnam.”

Jay Hertwig, vice president of global brand sales, marketing and product development for Unifi, added, “This is a strategic position in growing the global supply chain for Repreve and will allow us to expand into other Premium Value Added products in the near future. A presence in Vietnam will enable Unifi to meet sourcing requests and increasing demand from our customers wherever they choose to do business.”

Repreve is Unifi’s flagship brand of recycled fibers made from recycled materials, including plastic bottles. Repreve can be found in products ranging from apparel and hosiery to automotive and industrial applications, and is used by brands such as Patagonia, Haggar, Quiksilver and Ford. Repreve’s #TurnItGreen initiative is designed to encourage recycling and raise awareness among consumers that recycled bottles can be turned into everyday products.

Unifi, based in Grensboro, N.C., had net income of $9.2 million in the first quarter ended Sept. 25, on net sales of $160 million.