About the time I moved to North Carolina in the summer of 2006, the textile industry was in its final throes in the state. Yarn and fabric, and the thousands of jobs textile mills once supported, had largely gravitated overseas and the cotton fields that supplied the raw materials – if you could find one hereabouts – were something of an oddity.
So it was something of a pleasant surprise to read in the Charlotte Observer about a not-so-little company in Greensboro, Unifi Inc. (www.unifi.com) that has a different kind of thread and yarn facility in Yadkinville, which is due north of Charlotte about 90 miles. The firm has two other plants in Madison and Reidsville, North Carolina plus facilities doing similar things in Asia and South America. Unifi still makes thread but it’s manufactured from recycled plastic; notably the water bottles I so often
infuriatingly find strewn along my path. Unifi’s results turn up in Patagonia fleece products, Polartec® fabric, swimsuits, and auto interiors, to name but a few. Unifi’s basic yarn is under the brand name of Repreve®, and you can read about it at http://www.repreve.com. According to the Repreve website, more than 300 million bottles have been turned into synthetic yarn this year alone.
Sounds like my kind of company. I sent a note to the Investor Relations side of their business to tell them I’ll do everything I can during my daily walkabouts to keep them in raw materials.