The North Face announced on Thursday that as part of its pledge to design responsible and sustainable products, it has incorporated Unifi, Inc.’s REPREVE into its Denali line of fleece jackets. The company has integrated three eco-friendly materials into the Denali jackets: REPREVE recycled yarn, REPREVE WaterWise yarn with color technology, and REPREVE Textile Takeback yarn scrapped together from leftover fabric and recycled plastic bottles.
By using REPREVE’s fleece products, over 30 million plastic bottles are saved from landfills and used to create Denali jackets each year. REPREVE’s WaterWise yarn with color technology also shrinks the amount of water and chemicals within the fabric dyeing process. Denali jackets in black and heather grey made from the yarn also use 50 percent less water and chemicals, and 25 percent less energy in the fabric dyeing and finishing process.
Additionally, the company collaborated with Unifi to further diminish waste in the Denali production process. The Denali jacket’s fabric waste is collected and sent to Unifi’s REPREVE Recycling Center in North Carolina to be recycled into REPREVE Takeback yarn. After this, the yarn is knit into new fabric for Denali jackets.
Adam Mott, director of sustainability at The North Face, said, “The North Face is built on a love of exploring and protecting the outdoors, so making products responsibly is a priority.” He added, “We are always looking for innovative ways to make better products and minimize our environmental impact. This partnership with Unifi’s REPREVE technology allowed us to eliminate waste in our manufacturing and significantly reduce the water and energy required to make one of our most iconic products, the Denali jacket.”
On average, about 15 percent of fabric used in garment production is cut, discarded and wasted in the process, while this program manages to generate a loop of material reprocessing to avoid that statistic. For every 10 Denali jackets produced, a sufficient amount of fabric scrap is collected to produce an additional four jackets.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, an estimated 12 million tons of textile waste winds up in U.S. landfills every year. REPREVE Takeback fiber, just like all REPREVE fibers, is traceable, transparent and certified through the use of FiberPrint technology.
“At Unifi, we continue to expand the process for making REPREVE, engineering new ways to recycle materials throughout the supply chain,” Jay Hertwig, vice president of global brand sales and marketing for Unifi, said. “We are proud to provide our customers with sustainable solutions for recycling their own waste into new products, whether it’s bottles or fabric scraps.”
The REPREVE textile program, with the help of companies like The North Face, has just surpassed three million pounds of takeback fabric, expanding the program into other categories including apparel, automotive, hospitality, healthcare and contract furnishings.