The Greensboro, North Carolina-based company on Wednesday announced that through its Unifi Textiles (Suzhou) Co. Ltd. (UTSC) subsidiary it had signed Turkish manufacturer Korteks as a licensee of the fiber—which is made from recycling used plastic bottles—as well as a deal with Sun Chemical to distribute it in Taiwan.
According to Unifi, these collaborations will greatly expand Repreve’s distribution channels by helping to shorten lead times and increase capabilities worldwide.
“This expansion into new global markets underscores our dedication to remaining a leader in sustainable solutions and recycled products around the world,” said Roger Berrier, president and chief operating officer of Unifi, Inc.
In addition, Unifi plans to up the versatility of Repreve by combining more PVA performance benefits with sustainable options.
UTSC is set to debut several new products at the upcoming Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics show in China (Oct. 13-15), including Repreve with Augusta CL, which provides both the look and feel of cotton and the performance of synthetics, and a longer staple fiber.
The company will also introduce a filament with cationic-dyeable and disperse-dyeable polyester blended for heather effects, as well as Repreve with Reflexx, a high stretch fiber for improved fit, comfort and performance. It will continue to offer Repreve with Sorbtek—a moisture-wicking management yarn—in both filament and staple fiber versions.
“We are focused on providing our customers with eco-friendly products with the added performance benefits that consumers expect in products they wear and use every day,” said Ed Wickes, president of UTSC. “Our goal is to be a global resource for our customers no matter where they choose to do business.”
Unifi’s net income for fiscal 2015 was $42.2 million on net sales of $687.1 million. Apparel brands that currently use Repreve in their product lines include Quiksilver, Volcom, Patagonia and Swiftwick.