Greensboro, N.C.-based polyester and nylon textured yarns and related materials manufacturer Unifi
Inc. last week celebrated the grand opening of its REPREVE® Recycling Center at the company’s G.
Allen Mebane Industrial Complex in Yadkinville, N.C. Unifi has invested $8 million in the
50,000-square-foot center to enable it to expand its production capacity for Repreve recycled
The investment covered construction of a new building and the purchase of two
state-of-the-art extrusion lines plus auxiliary material handling equipment. One line has the
capacity to convert some 31 million pounds per year of post-consumer polyethylene terephthalate
(PET) bottles into chip. The other line can convert some 11 million pounds per year of
post-industrial fiber and fabric waste into chip. In the future, Unifi also expects to be able to
recycle fabrics and garments. In addition to the expanded capacities and capabilities, the company
expects to be able to offer improved fiber color and to increase the volume of materials processed,
thereby realizing economic benefits.
Unifi reports that over the last two years, it has recycled more than 247 million
post-consumer PET bottles into Repreve fiber and estimates that in 2012, the new facility will
recycle more than 400 million bottles into Repreve. The company anticipates that the operation
ultimately will recycle some 900 million PET bottles and save the equivalent of 16 million gallons
of gasoline annually.
“The opening of the REPREVE Recycling Center solidifies Unifi’s commitment to be the world’s
leader in the production of sustainable fibers,” said Unifi President and COO Roger Berrier. He
added that the company will hire at least 25 new employees at the center once it becomes fully
The building includes environmentally friendly features such as: 67 skylights to bring in
natural sunlight; energy-efficient light fixtures controlled by sensor technology; low-flow
fixtures and motion sensors that are expected to reduce water consumption by 34 percent; and an
energy recovery kit that captures and re-utilizes heat generated during production of Repreve chip.
Many of the building materials were sourced regionally and themselves were made using recycled
The Repreve Recycling Center is located at Unifi’s G. Allen Mebane Industrial Complex in
All photographs courtesy of Aesthetic Images Photography
Participants in the ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the Repreve Recycling
Center included (left to right) Kim Glas, deputy assistant secretary for textiles and apparel and
chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements; Gail Strickler, assistant United
States Trade Representative for textiles; Bill Jasper, chairman and CEO, Unifi; Charlie King,
product development manager, Unifi; Roger Berrier; president and COO, Unifi; John Mowbray, editor
and publisher, EcoTextile News; and Tom Caudle, vice president of manufacturing, Unifi.