The North Face Adds Sustainable REPREVE to Denali Jackets

1/22/2015
As part of its commitment to responsibly designed products, The North Face has incorporated Unifi, Inc.'s REPREVE® in its Denali line of fleece jackets. The North Face has integrated three environmentally friendly materials into the Denali jackets, including REPREVE recycled yarn, REPREVE WaterWise™ yarn with color technology, and REPREVE Textile Takeback yarn made from fabric scraps and recycled bottles. By using fleece produced from REPREVE, a high performance yarn made from recycled plastic bottles, more than 30 million bottles are saved from landfills and turned into Denali jackets each year.

The North Face is also utilizing REPREVE's WaterWise yarn with color technology to reduce the amount of water and chemicals used in the fabric dyeing process. Black and heather grey Denali jackets made with REPREVE WaterWise yarn use 50 percent less water, 50 percent less chemicals and 25 percent less energy in the fabric dyeing and finishing process.

In addition, The North Face worked with Unifi to further reduce waste in the Denali production process. Cut fabric waste from Denali jacket production is collected and sent to Unifi's REPREVE Recycling Center in North Carolina where it is recycled into REPREVE Takeback yarn. This yarn, along with yarn made from recycled plastic bottles, is then knit into new fabric for Denali jackets. Typically, about 15 percent of fabric used in garment production is cut out and discarded in the process. This program creates a loop of material reprocessing and gives new purpose to a major waste stream. For every 10 Denali jackets produced, enough fabric scrap is created to produce another four jackets.

"The North Face is built on a love of exploring and protecting the outdoors, so making products responsibly is a priority," said Adam Mott, director of sustainability at The North Face. "We are always looking for innovative ways to make better products and minimize our environmental impact. This partnership with Unifi's REPREVE technology allowed us to eliminate waste in our manufacturing and significantly reduce the water and energy required to make one of our most iconic products, the Denali jacket."

According to the EPA, an estimated 12 million tons of textile waste ends up in U.S. landfills each year. The REPREVE Textile Takeback program recycles fabrics into REPREVE Takeback fibers. Like all REPREVE fibers, REPREVE Takeback fiber is traceable, transparent, and certified through the use of FiberPrint™ technology. With the help of The North Face and other environmentally responsible brands, the REPREVE Textile Takeback program recently surpassed three million pounds in takeback fabric. In addition to apparel, the program has expanded into other categories including apparel, contract furnishings, automotive, healthcare and hospitality.

"At Unifi, we continue to expand the process for making REPREVE, engineering new ways to recycle materials throughout the supply chain," said Jay Hertwig, vice president of global brand sales and marketing for Unifi, Inc. "We are proud to provide our customers with sustainable solutions for recycling their own waste into new products, whether it's bottles or fabric scraps."

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