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Unifi’s Repreve Chalks Up the Sustainability Scoreboard

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Warm fronts are cooling down, thanks to Unifi — and the claim is proven by the firm’s recent Higg Materials Sustainability scores, which concluded that through its Repreve fiber, brands and consumers can count on creating lower carbon footprints than comparable materials in the market.

Repreve, Unifi’s fiber made from recycled plastic bottles, was confirmed to reduce global warming potential related to greenhouse gases by 21 percent compared to generic, mechanically recycled polyester and 42 percent compared to virgin polyester, according to a Higg MSI study.

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Described as the most “comprehensive tool for sustainability analysts, designers and product developers who want to make more informed materials choices,” Higg MSI scores are regarded as a sustainability benchmark across the textiles industry.

Higg MSI scores are used to communicate credible data about a product’s performance and validate sustainability progress, the company explained. “These results serve as a public scorecard for sharing the profile and data of a product’s environmental impact, which provides designers and consumers alike with information to make sustainability-based purchasing decisions,” they added.

And by using Repreve, organizations and consumers can notably reduce environmental impacts compared to generic rPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate), one of the most commonly used plastics in the world, the company said, adding that Repreve is the “only eco-performance fiber with U Trust verification to certify recycled content claims.”

James Cooper, sustainability manager at Unifi, said, “We continue to build on our commitment to transparency by having the results of our Repreve Life Cycle Assessment verified and accepted into the Higg MSI. Repreve manufactured in the U.S. has a lower global warming potential than standard rPET, providing our customers with a verified pathway to lower their environmental impact and meet their sustainability goals.”

Scores are determined through a Life Cycle Assessment, or LCA, tool, which measures environmental impacts over the whole life cycle of a product or service, including emissions and consumption of material resources, the company said. It also provides a more “accurate estimate of environmental trade-offs that allows organizations to use more reliable and transparent data to prioritize impact reduction in products and services.”

Higg MSI scores are subsequently reviewed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, a global, multistakeholder nonprofit alliance for the consumer goods industry, and by its technology partner, Higg Co.

Eddie Ingle, chief executive officer at Unifi, said the firm is “working today for the good of tomorrow, and these scores validate our belief that we are having a positive impact on the future through the growth of Repreve.”

“This assessment assures consumers and brands that by purchasing or using Repreve recycled fibers, they are making a more conscious and sustainable impact on the present and the future. To our shareholders, this transparency reinforces our commitment to Repreve and the growth potential it has with consumers and brands as they increase their focus on sustainable alternatives.”

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