Local governments around the country are finally catching up with the times. More and more places you go, you find that recycling is not only around, but that it is considered the norm. Of course, what really happens to that plastic after you throw it into the blue container? How does it get reused in a way that makes any sort of difference? Is it even worth the energy required (and extra carbon emissions) to product whatever else they turn it into? Well, if you are looking for some new threads, that answer is probably “yes.” After all, companies today are able to make plastic bottle shirts for you to wear.
Operating from their headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina, Unifi is looking towards the future with everything they do. When it comes to plastic bottle shirts, they have been leading the charge. Their processing facility in the nearby city of Yadkinville covers 50,000 square feet an is currently equipped to handle 72 million pounds of recycled fiber each year. When speaking to their VP of global branding, Jay Hetwig, CNN Money revealed that this is just part of the 300 million pounds of fiber that comes from their factory. But, Hetwig stressed that they hope to adjust those percentages. Next year, they want to up the recycled fiber count to 100 million pounds. But, how is this recycled fiber made?
Made using three distinct processes, Repreve is the special recycled fiber that makes your plastic bottle shirts possible. It can be made just using the plastic bottles, blended with fiber flakes, or blended with recycled fabric. In any case, the Repreve offers a comfortable and easily-utilized fabric for companies to work with. In fact, companies like The North Face, Nike, Adidas, and Ford already utilize Repreve fiber to make products.
The real wonder of technology like this is what it could mean for the future of the planet. No, that is not meant as some hippie illusion. Instead, it looks at the shear fact that one product is being completely transformed and reworked into another. In this way, it really speaks volumes about what technology is capable of. With the right strategy, who knows what other feats of recycling we might be able to accomplish? In the mean time, perhaps we could look at this as an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. We’re avoiding extra room for landfills while also putting clothes on people’s backs. And that’s a win-win for everyone.