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The business case for recycled plastic…

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

Unifi takes discarded bottles such as this one rescued from the brink of being washed down a storm drain and recycles them by the tens of millions and spins its magic into fabrics for warm clothing and auto upholstery, among other uses.

Unifi takes discarded bottles such as this one rescued from the brink of being washed down a storm drain and recycles them by the tens of millions and spins its magic into fabrics for warm clothing and auto upholstery, among other uses.

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.

About Dave Bradley (259 Articles)
I'm the one behind two totally unrelated blogs; one on 15 years of writing a weekly letter to my kids (plus other recipients), the other on my localized environmental responsibility. I'm a writer by trade and both endeavors are accepted practice for me. As for the letters, my adult children Ellen and Reid may have seen letters as corny at one point, but it's accepted practice for them, too, to find something in their mailbox other than bills and junk mail. Email and texting don't do a lot for me for a lot of different reasons. Snail mail has its place in the communicative world so as long as they keep selling stamps, I'm buying. As for 'Pick Up Your Path' and the environment, I advocate what citizens can do themselves to take a direct hand in their neighborhood environment. But Pick Up Your Path is also a general environmental blog. It may be largely about litter and trash, but both of those are just one element of the total environmental picture.

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