The Textile Takeback initiative is designed to collect and recycle polyester-based fabric waste, including both pre- and post-consumer fabrics, and transform it into recycled performance fibre Repreve. Through its expansion, Unifi is making a sustainable solution for waste accessible to partners at scale.
Unifi’s CEO Eddie Ingle told Just Style exclusively: “The textile industry at large is taking a hard look at the entire supply chain, and we are seeing many large companies, like Unifi, getting serious about their sustainability commitments. That includes taking responsibility for the end of the chain and seeking sustainable ways to address the waste that is produced.”
He continued: “Investing in a circular or regenerative supply chain not only supports greater agility, it reinforces a new sustainable industry standard. This initiative benefits our customers, the end consumer, and most importantly, our climate. Together with our partners, Unifi is proud to be a leader of the global shift towards zero waste.”
With millions of tons of textile waste discarded each year, Textile Takeback aims to transform the industry’s take-make-waste model by providing a sustainable way to recycle landfill-bound textiles and create new products.
Through Unifi’s proprietary process, the company transforms dyed and undyed polyester-based textile discards into recycled resin through an innovative material conversion process. The recycled resin is then converted into Repreve fibre, or it may be blended with recycled bottle material to achieve desired specifications. The material then begins its life cycle again and avoids a trip to the landfill.
By focusing on sustainable solutions that create a closed-loop circular system, Textile Takeback from Unifi serves as an actionable step towards addressing the industry’s waste footprint, the company says.
“Unifi has always seen sustainability as a movement – not a moment,” explained Ingle. “We are thrilled to expand Textile Takeback to provide our partners with a sustainable solution that helps to create a more circular supply chain for all.”
As the makers of Repreve, Unifi says it has transformed more than 35 billion plastic bottles into recycled fibre for new apparel, footwear, home goods, and other consumer products. Initially piloted in 2011, Textile Takeback will include an expanded global footprint and product application scope, making a sustainable solution for waste accessible to partners at scale.
“Finding new ways to help our partners meet their sustainability goals is always top of mind,” added Meredith Boyd, SVP of technology, innovation & sustainability at Unifi. “By expanding our Textile Takeback initiative, we are one step closer to shaping a future where waste is the exception – not the rule.”