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Virginia F.
Republican NC 5

About Rep. Virginia
  • Recognizing Unifi Manufacturing, Incorporated for Its Commitment to Recycling

    by Representative Virginia Foxx

    Posted on 2016-01-11

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    FOXX. Mr. Speaker, today, I rise to commend Unifi Manufacturing, Incorporated for its commitment to recycling.

    Headquartered in Greensboro, Unifi is a leading producer and processor of multifilament polyester and nylon textured yarns. They provide innovative, global textile solutions and unique branded yarns for customers at every level of the supply chain.

    Unifi employs about 950 people in North Carolina's Fifth District at its Repreve Recycling Center in Yadkinville. The company is currently constructing an 85,000-square-foot expansion that will more than double the size of the facility.

    Repreve is polyester yarn made from chips that come mainly from recycled plastic bottles and industrial fiber waste. These environmentally friendly yarns have been used in products for customers that include Ford, The North Face, Nike, Haggar, Quiksilver, Volcom, and Patagonia. For example, a classic fit casual dress pant by Haggar features seven recycled bottles. Seat covers in a Ford F-150 truck contain 16 recycled bottles.

    Unifi is currently converting about 42 million pounds of recycled products a year into chips at its Yadkinville facility. That includes 31 million pounds of post-consumer plastic bottles and 11 million pounds of post-industrial fiber and fabric waste. Once the expansion is complete, it will recycle 72 million pounds annually.

    At current production levels, the Yadkinville center accounts annually for the conversion of 900 million recycled plastic bottles and saves the equivalent of 16 million gallons of gasoline that would be required to make new polyester and nylon.

    Last spring, Unifi also opened a 1-megawatt solar farm onsite in Yadkinville. The solar farm is projected to provide about 10 percent of the energy needed to run the recycling center.

    Additionally, Unifi is expanding the Repreve brand through its 60 percent interest in Repreve Renewables, a biomass feedstock company that focuses on the direct sales of Freedom Giant Miscanthus to farmers. Some analysts believe this type of grass is extremely efficient in converting sunlight to biomass energy. It also produces more fuel than any other biofuel source.

    Repreve Renewables has had significant commercial success with Thrivez, its poultry bedding brand. Thrivez regrows annually without replanting, reducing soil erosion, improving water quality, and minimizing water, herbicide, and fertilizer needs.

    Unifi has been profitable for 5 consecutive years, and Repreve has expanded from two main apparel customers in 2007 to 32 in 2015. I commend Unifi for achieving economic success through sustainability.


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