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Nike, Adidas, VF among Unifi sustainability leaders

  • US yarn manufacturer has announced the recipients of the inaugural Repreve Champions of Sustainability awards.

  • Nike, Adidas, H&M, VF Corp and PVH are among the winners.

  • The awards celebrate Unifi's brand and textile partners that share in its commitment to sustainability and protecting natural resources.

Sportswear brands Nike and Adidas, Swedish fashion retailer H&M, and US apparel giants VF Corp and PVH are among the recipients of the first Repreve Champions of Sustainability award created by US yarn maker Unifi.

The annual awards celebrates Unifi's brand and textile partners that share in its commitment to sustainability and protecting natural resources.

First announced in November of last year, the awards were launched alongside the news that Unifi had recycled more than 10bn plastic bottles and set new targets of recycling 20bn by 2020 and 30bn by 2022.

"Unifi created the Repreve Champions of Sustainability awards to recognise our brand and textile partners that have achieved plastic bottle recycling milestones as a result of their use of Repreve performance fibers," explains Unifi CEO Kevin Hall. "We are proud to honour companies that exemplify leadership in sustainability, and are among those that have contributed to the more than 10bn bottles that Unifi has recycled so far. We look forward to recognising even more companies in the future as we work toward our goal of recycling 30bn bottles by 2022."

Repreve Champions of Sustainability will be awarded to 25 brand and retail partners that have each used the equivalent of 10m or more bottles, and 15 textile partners that have each used the equivalent of 50m or more bottles, through the use of Repreve fibre.

"More than 70% of plastic bottles in the United States end up in a landfill," Hall adds. "By creating these awards, we hope to inspire designers, customers and consumers to continue to invest in sustainability, and that together, we can make everyday life better by transforming recycled plastic bottles into the products consumers use every day."

Among the brand and retailer recipients are Hanesbrands, JC Penney, Levi Strauss & Co, Lindex, Perry Ellis, Polartec, Quiksilver, Target, Under Armour, Volcom and Willaims-Sonoma. Textile partner winners include Burlington, MAS Fabrics, and Tuntex.

In addition to the bottle awards, Unifi is also introducing four special category awards:

  • Repreve Partners in Innovation recognises companies using Repreve in a way that's unique to the market.

  • Repreve Circular Economy recognises companies demonstrating best-in-class use of the closed loop concept, which aims to eliminate waste throughout the product lifecycle.

  • Repreve Newcomer recognises key companies that started using Repreve in the past year.

  • Repreve All-In recognises companies that integrated Repreve into their entire product line from the beginning of the partnership.

Among these recipients are Cone Denim, Patagonia, The North Face, Downlite, New Era Cap, and Kathmandu.

Meanwhile, even the awards are sustainable with Unifi having partnered with The Olio, a non-profit organisation based in North Carolina, that focuses on teaching and empowerment through entrepreneurship, glassblowing, art and sustainable solutions.

Each custom crafted award is blown by hand from glass recycled from local restaurants and bars, and sits on a base made from recycled aluminium and reclaimed wood.

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