In 2017, AAPN member Unifi set itself a lofty goal; to transform more than 20 billion PET bottles from environment damaging waste into something useful and salable. And thanks in large part to its greener than green Repreve brand as World Environment Day rolls around they've done it.
It's a huge number. So big it's hard to comprehend. However, Unifi released some stats that help put the achievement into perspective:
20 billion single-serve plastic bottles can physically circle the earth approximately 100 times or fill the Empire State building more than 13 times. Recycling and transforming these bottles has the potential to:
- Save enough energy to power more than 189,000 average homes for one year;
- Save more than 1.7 billion liters of water, the equivalent of one year of drinking water for approximately 2.3 million people
- Improve air quality by avoiding more than 517 million kilograms of CO 2 emissions, the equivalent of eliminating CO 2 emissions from the consumption of 1.2 million barrels of oil.
Repreve was first conceived of in 2000, and in 20 years it's become a key fabric element in everything from the new Walmart uniforms and AAPN member Haggar's dress pants. You'll find it included across AAPN member Patagonia's line and in the stunning fabrics produced by AAPN member Milliken. And that's just a fraction of its uses. You'll find Repreve in underwear, swimwear, socks and even canine fashions.
20 billion bottles down and Tom Caudle, President & Chief Operating Officer of Unifi says they are just getting started. “Consumer demand for more sustainable products will continue to drive demand for REPREVE ® from our brand, retail, and mill partners, and that will help us reach our goal of transforming 30 billion bottles by 2022.”