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Cover Story | July 2018

I am not a virgin!

Unifi, a modern company based in Greensboro, North Carolina, USA, which has a capacity to produce 300 million pounds of polyester and nylon yarn annually, has turned 4 billion used plastic bottles into yarn in the last seven years. Repreve is the firm's flagship fibre brand made from recycled materials. Unifi’s Repreve recycling centre is a 50,000 sq ft facility in Yadkinville, North Carolina, where plastic bottles, fibre waste and fabric scraps are converted into textile. The company says it takes 27 used bottles to make one gown.

What I saw in Turkey at a recent exhibition was fascinating!
On the shelf of a Turkish company’s showcase was a t-shirt branded as “I am not a virgin.” The 100 per cent fibres used are not at all virgin fibres and they are made out of PET bottles. RESPECT is another brand made out of recycled yarn. The company’s spokesperson claims that recycling of 1 ton of wasted PET has saved 0.7 barrels of oil apart from reduction in landfills, energy, carbon footprint and water.

Gama Mensucat AS, Turkey, founded in 1997, claims to be the largest intergarted regenerated yarn manufacturer in the world, manufactures 3,000 tonnes of PET flakes per month out of PET bottles. With 20 engineers in R&D, it produces recycled yarns and fibres and exports 35 per cent of its products to countries like UK, Germany, France, Spain, Belgium and many more.

Turkey seems to have stolen a march over India in this PET bottle-to-textile conversion race!

ITJ Editor

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