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Blank Apparel Company Switches to Recycled Polyester

On the heels of several developments to further shore up its responsible sourcing platform, Next Level Apparel has transitioned its entire line of polyester-blended fabrics to recycled polyester, effective March 1.

The blank apparel designer, supplier and manufacturer made the announcement just months after saying it would require all fabric suppliers to use only 100 percent U.S.-grown cotton, and to nearshore more of its supply chain by 2025.

“This is yet another opportunity for NLA to continue to set a high standard by implementing more sustainable practices through our supply chain,” said Carly Gerstman, NLA’s director of corporate social responsibility.

The recycled polyester component is but another link in the NLA sourcing chain that also includes sophisticated origin testing by DNA and full traceability.

More than 5 million plastic water bottles have been recycled  since the 2019 launch of the Sustainable Collection which is made of 70 percent recycled material.

That was a key development in NLA’s strong responsible sourcing program that it continues to build on. In addition to near-shoring efforts to shift more of its production to the Dominican Republic through an existing relationship with GK Global and Grupo M, the company is working with Oritain to verify the origins of its cotton through forensic science-based technology. This is to ensure  suppliers conform to the landmark Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA).