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AUSTR Gail Strickler Participates in Recycling Center Opening

On May 4, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Textiles Gail Strickler traveled to Yadkinville, North Carolina to participate in the official opening of the REPREVE® Recycling Center at Unifi’s state of the art G. Allen Mebane Industrial Complex. Unifi is a producer of polyester and nylon textured yarns. The company develops branded yarns that provide unique performance, comfort, and aesthetic advantages.

REPREVE® is Unifi’s brand of recycled fibers that can be used in apparel, automotive, seating, and paneling fabrics. The 50,000 square foot, REPREVE Recycling Center enables Unifi to recycle post-industrial and post-consumer polyester waste, and in the future, fabrics and garments. Unifi estimates to recycle over 400 million bottles into REPREVE in 2012 in its REPREVE Recycling Center.

The opening featured a ribbon cutting ceremony, tours and a program of speakers. Bill Jasper, chairman and CEO; Roger Berrier, president and COO; John Mowbray, editor and publisher of EcoTextile News; Gail Strickler, Assistant United States Trade Representative for Textiles; and Kim Glas, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Textiles and Apparel and Chairman, CITA, all spoke at the ceremony.

The building was built with environmental benefits in mind. Features include:

  • 67 skylights to take advantage of natural sunlight

  • Light fixtures controlled by sensor technology to reduce energy use

  • Low flow fixtures and motion sensors anticipated to reduce water use by 34%

  • Many building materials were bought regionally and comprised of recycled content

  • Energy Recovery Kit that captures and re-utilizes heat in the production of REPREVE chip

This development and investment in the latest in textile and environmental technology is American ingenuity at its best. Innovation such as this will help the U.S. to continue to play a leading role in the global textile supply chain.