Unifi turns trash into recycled yarn

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C’mon, admit it: you have tossed stuff in the recycling bin without much confidence that it will be treated differently than what’s in the trash bin next to it.

“A lot of people wonder when they put recycling in that bin, does it really go somewhere? Does something really happen to it?” said Unifi CEO, Kevin Hall.

Indeed, something big happens to the plastic bottles Unifi gets its hands on.

Unifi made a bet a decade ago when it was one of several textile companies left in the Triad. The bet was that with the right technology, those plastic bottles could get a reprieve from ending up in the landfill and be used in products that keep you warm and dry all year.

“To be able to take the plastic and put it into performance products like we’re doing took a sizeable investment,” admits Hall.

And one that went a long way to saving the company.

Unifi first breaks down and then purifies almost any kind of plastic and then spins it into yarn that can be infused with high tech polymers to do things old yarn could only dream of.

“This can be custom-built to whoever is ordering it,” says Hall. “If somebody needs extra wicking, moisture management or odor control, we can do different things with that aspect of it.”

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