The agreement will leverage Kipas’ supply chain infrastructure in Turkey to provide quality, service and speed-to-market for Unifi’s Repreve staple fibers to fabric mills, brands and retail partners in the country, a key supplier of fabric and finished goods to the U.S. and European market—notably in denim.
Repreve is made from recycled materials, including plastic bottles, and is traceable and certified through Unifi’s proprietary U Trust verification program. As part of the program, Unifi incorporates FiberPrint, a proprietary technology that confirms and certifies the presence and percentage of Repreve content in finished products.
Repreve staple fibers will be available from Kipas in a variety of specifications, including raw white and dope-dyed, as well as a range of deniers and staple lengths.
“Kipas is proud to collaborate with UAP to bring Repreve spun yarn products to Turkey,” said Halit Gumuser, managing director of Kipas Textiles. “The Repreve staple fiber offerings are in line with our own standards for quality and scope of offering, and we feel confident that this cooperation will serve and adequately supply the Turkish market with Repreve, the certified and traceable recycled polyester staple fiber of choice.”
Repreve polyester staple fiber is used in blends and 100 percent polyester constructions and can be coupled with performance technologies for enhanced functionality. Kipas’ production facilities allow for advanced blending and spinning capabilities, including ring, open-end, siro compact, core spun and air jet.
“We are excited to engage with fabric manufacturers in Turkey, a key market for textile manufacturing, and to support our global brand and retail customers who are making the decision to offer their customers an environmentally conscious option by incorporating Repreve recycled polyester into their products,” Hongjun Ning, UAP’s president, said. “We look forward to supporting the breadth of products demanded by our customers, as well as offering the quickest supply route through our cooperation with Kipas.”
A World Bank report on Turkey, “Economic Monitor: Steadying the Ship,” published last month, said market volatility in the country has subsided in the last six months, with the lira rebounding and external imbalances narrowing.
“But Turkey’s external financial situation remains fragile and market perceptions of risks are high,” the report said. “Market volatility has also affected the real sector through high inflation, falling demand and a big supply side correction.”
Problems persist concerning corporate solvency and liquidity concerns, but “outward-oriented manufacturing sectors remain buoyant,” the report noted.
According to data from the Turkish Exporters Assembly, textile and apparel exports rose 3.8 percent in 2018 to reach $26.1 billion. U.S. imports of apparel and textiles from Turkey increased 12.93 percent to $1.69 billion for the year through November, according to the U.S. Commerce Department’s Office of Textiles & Apparel (OTEXA).
UAP’s parent company, Unifi Inc., based in Greensboro, N.C., manufacturers synthetic and recycled performance fibers. In addition to Repreve, the company’s primary product is the Profiber brand of virgin polyester and nylon performance fibers. Both Profiber and Repreve yarns can be embedded with a combination of innovative Tru-technology performance benefits such as moisture management, thermal regulation, cooling, UV protection, water resistance, enhanced softness and cushioning.
Kipas Textiles has 25 factories with more than 10,000 employees. The company maintains a focus on sustainability, which besides using recycled fibers like Repreve, includes using recycled paper in paper production and emphasizing geothermal energy.