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Unifi Announces Recipients of Inaugural REPREVE® Champions of Sustainability Awards

[Congratulations to AAPN Members: Haggar Clothing Co, PVH, Target, Under Armour, VF Corporation, Burlington, Darlington A Moore Company, Intradeco Apparel, Pettenati, Cone Denim, Patagonia, The North Face]

Awards recognize sustainability leaders who are partnering with Unifi in protecting our natural resources

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Jan. 25, 2017 – To further commemorate its recent milestone of recycling 10 billion bottles, Unifi, Inc. (NYSE: UFI) is pleased to announce the recipients of the inaugural REPREVE® Champions of Sustainability awards. These annual awards celebrate Unifi’s brand and textile partners that share in its commitment to sustainability and vision for a better tomorrow.

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Unifi Elects PepsiCo North America CEO Albert P. Carey to the Board of Directors

Unifi, Inc. (NYSE: UFI), one of the world's leading innovators in synthetic and recycled yarns, today announced the election of Albert (Al) P. Carey to the Board of Directors.

Mr. Carey currently serves as CEO of PepsiCo North America, a role he has held since March 2016. As a 36-year PepsiCo veteran, he has extensive experience leading multiple lines of consumer brands across snacks and beverages at PepsiCo, including as CEO of Frito-Lay North America.

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Unifi Announces Successful Visit from NC Governor Roy Cooper

Visit builds further momentum for sustainable economic development

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Jan. 22, 2017 – Unifi is proud to announce a successful visit from North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper on Tuesday, Jan. 16. Governor Cooper toured Unifi’s Yadkinville facility, and was able to see first-hand the economic impact the company is having on the state and nation. Unifi makes its REPREVE® fiber from recycled materials, including plastic water bottles, at its Yadkinville plant.

“We’re honored that Governor Cooper was able to see how Unifi contributes good paying jobs for people in North Carolina,” said Unifi Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Hall. “We’ve invested $130 million over the past three years to deliver on innovation and our goal to reach 20 billion bottles transformed by 2020, and more than 30 billion by 2022 as we convert them into our REPREVE sustainable and performance fibers.”

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Cone Denim Introduces S GENE® Stretch Denim with REPREVE®

November 28, 2017, Greensboro, NC – Cone Denim and Unifi, Inc. (NYSE:UFI) are excited to introduce the latest in advanced stretch technology - S GENE® with REPREVE®. Combining the advanced stretch technology of S GENE with the superior sustainability and performance of REPREVE recycled polyester fiber, the newest S GENE denim offers the most advanced sustainable dual-core stretch denim on the market.

“It is very exciting to continue our celebration of 10 years of S GENE technology with the addition of S GENE with REPREVE,” says Kara Nicholas, Vice President Product Design + Marketing for Cone Denim. “This newest addition to Cone’s SUSTAINBLUE™ collection of fabrics maintains the authentic look and feel of traditional denim while offering advanced stretch, recovery and durability in an eco-friendly fabric that is increasingly more important to consumers today. S GENE with REPREVE offers the best of both worlds.”

“We are proud that Cone Denim has chosen REPREVE, the global leader in branded recycled performance fibers, for its sustainable collection of S GENE denim,” said Jay Hertwig, Vice President of Global Brand Sales for Unifi. “This collaboration brings together two global leaders in the textile industry aimed at driving innovation in the denim market.”

S GENE with REPREVE denims utilize as many as three post-consumer plastic bottles in one pair of jeans. They are designed for today’s denim lover offering the next level of sustainable superior stretch to the market and opening a wide range of opportunities to denim brands to offer and promote the advanced performance of both S GENE technologies and REPREVE recycled fibers. Cone Denim offers the SUSTAINBLUE collection of fabrics, an environmentally friendly collection comprised of denim constructions using recycled cotton, recycled polyester and other sustainable yarns.

Cone Denim’s S GENE innovation was the first of its kind, originally introduced in denim fabrics in 2007. S GENE yarn with dual core technology is designed to provide superior stretch and recovery. To create these yarns, Cone starts with two core components – spandex and continuous filament which optimizes stretch and maximizes recovery. The dual-core yarn is wrapped in a spun covering to provide soft cotton hand and natural appearance with added stretch performance.

REPREVE is the global leader in branded recycled performance fibers, transforming more than 10 billion plastic bottles into recycled products for new clothing, shoes, home goods and other consumer products. REPREVE is the earth-friendly solution to making consumers’ favorite brands more environmentally responsible.

Unifi Recycles 10 Billionth Bottle; Announces Goal to Recycle 20 Billion by 2020, 30 Billion by 2022

Unifi also launches REPREVE® Champions of Sustainability Awards to recognize
recycling achievements of customers and brands

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Nov. 14, 2017 - In honor of America Recycles Day, Unifi, Inc., (NYSC: UFI) the global leader in branded recycled performance fibers, announces the Company has recycled more than 10 billion plastic bottles. Building from that momentum, Unifi is targeting 20 billion bottles recycled by 2020 and 30 billion bottles by 2022. To recognize customers who have partnered for this achievement, Unifi is launching the REPREVE Champions of Sustainability Awards.

“Reaching 10 billion bottles is an impressive milestone, and by committing to recycle an additional 20 billion by 2022, we will continue to expand our portfolio of REPREVE-based performance products,” said Kevin Hall, chief executive officer of Unifi. “With nearly 70 percent of plastic bottles in the United States going to landfills, America Recycles Day is a perfect time to remind people to recycle more and buy sustainable products. REPREVE provides a solution for plastic bottles as long as they make it to a recycling bin.”

To put this achievement into perspective, consider this:
10 billion bottles can fill the Empire State Building 7.2 times[i]
10 billion bottles placed end to end can circle the earth more than 50 times[ii]
The recycled bottles used to create REPREVE fiber, filament and chip instead of virgin equivalent can save enough energy to power 95,000 homes for one year[iii]

Unifi saw an opportunity to incorporate recycled plastic bottles into REPREVE, providing a sustainable solution to brands and retailers. The REPREVE Champions of Sustainability Awards will acknowledge those companies who are committed to manufacturing sustainable products with REPREVE performance fibers.

Hall added, “Unifi could not have reached the 10 billion bottle milestone without the commitment from our customers to provide earth-friendly products, and the REPREVE Champions of Sustainability Awards give us the opportunity to thank our partners who helped make it possible. A vast difference can be made if more companies recognize the impact they have on our planet and take steps to reduce it. The REPREVE Champions of Sustainability Awards are meant to honor and inspire companies to source responsibly and take sustainability strategies to the next level.”

The 2017 winners of the REPREVE Champions of Sustainability Awards will be announced at the 2018 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Denver, Jan. 25-28.

Recycled Plastic Bottles Transformed Into Denver Broncos Caps From New Era Using REPREVE® Fiber

DENVER/GREENSBORO, N.C. – Nov. 6, 2017 – The Denver Broncos just got greener! Today, New Era Cap – the official on-field hat of the National Football League (NFL) – announced the debut of its first-ever official NFL cap made with plastic bottles, thanks to the use of REPREVE® fiber. Starting on November 12, fans will be able to purchase the new, eco-friendly New Era caps at the Broncos Team Store at Sports Authority Field at Mile High during Broncos games. The REPREVE-based caps will come in multiple styles, including the 9FIFTY® and 9TWENTY®. Retailing for $34.99 for the 9FIFTY and $24.99 for the 9TWENTY silhouette, each hat is made using four plastic bottles. REPREVE is the leading branded, recycled performance fiber made from high-quality recycled materials, created by global textile solutions provider, Unifi, Inc. (NYSE:UFI).

“We are thrilled to have two great partners in REPREVE and New Era coming together to produce a unique and eco-friendly Broncos product for our fans. These hats are well designed and represent our brand well,” said Darren O’Donnell, Vice President of Business Development for the Denver Broncos.

“The synergy between REPREVE and New Era Cap represents one of incredible quality, performance, and a commitment to eco-friendliness,” said Mark Maidment, Vice President, Creative for New Era Cap. “Not only does New Era Cap value environmental consciousness, but our consumers are also increasingly looking for products with a transparent sustainability story. We are excited to expand our eco-friendly product offering to the NFL with an exclusive launch with the Denver Broncos.”

The New Era 9FIFTY® cap is the company’s classic snapback style with a structured front panel and a full crown; the visor is designed to be worn flat but can be curved for individualized styling. The 9TWENTY® is a strapback hat with an unstructured, curved visor. Both caps reflect the unique styling New Era is known for, enhanced with an environmentally responsible twist because they are made with REPREVE.

“We are excited to extend our relationship with New Era and the Broncos,” said Jay Hertwig, Vice President of Global Brand Sales for Unifi Manufacturing, Inc 1. “The collaboration will help us continue to spread the word that recycled plastic bottles can become high-performance products when they’re made with REPREVE.”

Unifi is also teaming up with the Denver Broncos to envelop fans in eco-friendly messaging prior to and during the game. REPREVE-focused messaging will run on stadium boards during the game, and on Nov. 12 and Nov. 19, Unifi’s custom-designed, interactive REPREVE #TurnItGreen mobile tour will be at the stadium for fans to visit prior to kickoff and hear how their recycled plastic bottles can be transformed into high-performing gear.

A&E Expands Sustainable Offerings, Focusing on Athletic Wear and Performance Apparel with New REPREVE® Recycled-Core Sewing Thread

MOUNT HOLLY, N.C. – American & Efird (A&E), one of the world’s foremost manufacturers and distributors of industrial and consumer sewing thread, embroidery thread and technical textiles, announced the product launch of a new recycled-core, air-entangled, polyester sewing thread, Magic® using REPREVE®. Building upon the immense success of Perma Core® using REPREVE® released earlier this year, Magic® using REPREVE® provides eco-versatility in the sewing of activewear, athleisure and intimate apparel.

Magic® using REPREVE® incorporates Unifi’s REPREVE® fiber made from recycled plastic bottles, providing a highly sought-after eco-friendly performance sewing thread option for environmentally-conscious customers that is sized appropriately for the athletic wear and performance apparel markets.

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Cone Denim Launches Future BLACK+ Denim featuring Lenzing Modal® and REPREVE®

GREENSBORO, N.C. (Oct. 23, 2017) – Cone Denim, Lenzing and Unifi – global leaders in textile sustainability - are excited to collaborate on the launch of Future BLACK+ denim featuring Lenzing Modal® branded fibers and REPREVE® Black recycled fibers. Future BLACK+, the industry’s first certified fade-resistant black denim, will join Cone Denim’s family of TruTone™ fabrics. Jeans made from Future BLACK+ denim contain as many as 17 recycled plastic bottles and feature superior softness, color retention and stretch, while minimizing the impact on the environment.

Future BLACK+ denim achieves its durable color by utilizing dope dyeing, an energy-saving and environmentally friendly dyeing technique that introduces the pigment during the production process. Adding the colorant during manufacturing allows the entire body of the fiber to be colored instead of only the surface and eliminates the need for a dye bath later in the process. Wash tests[1] have shown that denim made from Future BLACK+ showed no sign of color loss even after more than 20 washes, producing a denim that’s built to last.

“Lenzing has always been committed to sustainability and making our manufacturing process as eco-friendly as possible,” said Tricia Carey, director of global business development for denim at Lenzing. “By partnering with Cone Denim and Unifi, we were able to work with like-minded companies to create an advanced product that saves resources throughout the manufacturing process.”

“This collaboration elevates our commitment as a sustainability leader and denim innovator,” said Kara Nicholas, vice president of product design and marketing for Cone Denim. “Color retention in black denim is an increasingly important trend for consumers and a perfect fit with our TruTone™ fabric story focused around black and indigo-like navy fabrics that offer supreme color retention, plus all of the added benefits of the environmental story.”

REPREVE is a leading brand of fibers made from recycled plastic bottles by Unifi, Inc. (UFI: NYSE). Lenzing Modal® BLACK has around 50 to 60 percent lower environmental impact than conventional dyed fabric.[2] The Lenzing manufacturing process requires less chemical and energy inputs during manufacturing, and uses 64 percent less water during the dye process. Together, these earth-friendly fibers create a high performing, highly sustainable denim.

“By combining Lenzing Modal® fiber with REPREVE®, we are able to satisfy some of the biggest consumer demands for the marketplace,” said Jay Hertwig, Unifi’s vice president of global brand sales and premium value-added sales. “Unifi is proud to work with both The Lenzing Group and Cone Denim to create a high-quality product that helps decrease our industry’s environmental footprint.”

Future BLACK+ will launch at Kingpins Amsterdam, Oct. 25-26, and will also be showing at Kingpins New York, Nov. 29-30, as part of the Cone Denim TruTone™ collection.

[1] According to DIN ISO 6330 wash tests

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Repreve featured on Fox's Xploration Earth

Unifi, Inc.’s REPREVE® Recycled Fiber Featured on Xploration Earth 2050 TV Show

What: The process of creating REPREVE, a leading recycled fiber made from plastic bottles by textile manufacturer Unifi, Inc., will be featured on national TV show Xploration Earth 2050.

When: Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017 at 8:00 a.m.

Where: Xploration Earth 2050 TV show on FOX Channel (WGHP-TV in the Triad)

Details: Xploration Earth 2050 looks at advancements in science, technology, engineering and math to see where that might lead us and what the world might look like in the year 2050.

North Carolina Zoo Awards Unifi, Inc. 2017 Paw of Approval for Earth-Friendly Commitment

GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA – August 22, 2017 – The North Carolina Zoo has awarded Unifi, Inc. (NYSE: UFI) its 2017 Paw of Approval, which highlights the Company’s commitment to environmentally responsible manufacturing. Unifi is the manufacturer of a family of fibers called REPREVE®, which are made from recycled materials, including plastic bottles.

“We are honored to be recognized as good stewards of the environment throughout the Triad and beyond,” said Tom Caudle, president of Unifi. “At Unifi, environmental responsibility is more than just something we do. It is a major part of our culture, and we continually seek out ways to enhance our earth-friendly efforts.”

Inspired by the Polar Bears International organization, polar bear keepers at the North Carolina Zoo launched the Paw of Approval award in 2011 as a way to highlight and reward the Triad’s most earth-friendly businesses. Companies are nominated by zookeepers and then voted on by Zoo guests in order to select the winner.

North Carolina Zoo polar bear keeper, Nicole Pepo, remarked, "as an Arctic Ambassador Center, it's our great pleasure to celebrate local businesses for their leadership and for their commitment to helping us tackle climate change at a community level."

Since the introduction of REPREVE, Unifi has transformed more than five billion recycled plastic bottles into fiber for REPREVE-based products. Production of REPREVE conserves resources by offsetting the need to use newly refined crude oil, which is required in the production of virgin synthetic fibers. REPREVE production also uses less energy and water, and produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions, compared to making virgin fibers. In addition to producing REPREVE fibers, Unifi also bolsters its commitment to sustainability through several other initiatives.

  • Last year, Unifi opened its REPREVE Bottle Processing Center in Reidsville, North Carolina, where Unifi cleans and chops recycled plastic bottles into small pieces called flake, which can then be transformed into REPREVE fiber or chip for other products that can be made from recycled plastic, such as food-grade packaging, high-performance clothing, shoes and more.
  • Unifi drives change through a multi-stop, national mobile tour that travels the country educating individuals on the importance of recycling and what can be made from plastic bottles.
  • Unifi installed a one MegaWatt solar farm in Yadkinville, North Carolina, which allows Unifi to harness natural power to generate energy.

FINCH Designs, Made With REPREVE®, Awarded Seal of Approval by Project JUST

GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA – August 14, 2017 – FINCH Designs, a swimwear brand using REPREVE® recycled fiber in its products, is a new recipient of the Project JUST Seal of Approval. FINCH Designs is the first-ever China-based brand to receive the distinction, which is based upon the company’s commitment to transparency and building a sustainable supply chain. FINCH Designs is one of only three brands to win the Seal of Approval in the swimwear category, out of more than 115 nominations.

A significant player in FINCH Designs’ supply chain is Unifi Manufacturing, Inc., a company that transforms recycled plastic bottles into a fiber called REPREVE. REPREVE is traceable and certified through Unifi’s proprietary U TRUST™ verification program. U TRUST is a comprehensive certification program that is designed to provide REPREVE customers with an increased level of transparency. As part of the U TRUST program, Unifi incorporates FIBERPRINT™ technology, a unique tool that allows a third party to analyze fabrics for the FIBERPRINT signature, which Unifi then uses to certify the level of REPREVE content.

Project JUST’s Seal of Approval is based upon extensive research into the brand’s environmental and social practices. In addition, Project JUST considers availability, accessibility (size and price), quality and aesthetic.

“FINCH identifies with the slow-fashion movement and repeats 85 percent of its prints and styles year after year to encourage timeless, responsible purchasing. We design all of our signature prints in-house, and work only with manufacturing partners that share our core values of social and environmentally responsible production,” said Itee Soni, FINCH co-founder.

Since launching swimwear made from REPREVE fiber in 2013, FINCH has rapidly established partnerships with some of the most luxurious names in travel, including Six Senses, W Hotels, Mandarin Oriental, Ritz-Carlton, Park Hyatt and Naked eco-resorts.

“When we began, we were looking for a supplier that understood our mandate of providing a transparent supply chain to our customers,” added Heather Kaye, FINCH co-founder. “We found that commitment in our collaboration with Unifi; and through the use of REPREVE, they were able to help us create a high-quality product for the good of our consumers and the environment.”

Having launched men’s and boys’ REPREVE recycled swim trunks in addition to the women’s and girls’ categories, FINCH is essentially a one-stop shop for eco-swimwear. In addition to being environmentally responsible and stylish, FINCH swimwear is also high-performing, as each item offers protection from the sun with a UPF rating of at least 50.

“We’re proud to support FINCH as they receive this well-deserved distinction from Project JUST,” said Jay Hertwig, vice president of global brand/Premium Value-Added (PVA) sales for Unifi. “FINCH creates swimwear for the whole family that is fashionable, functional and earth-friendly.”

Unifi Announces Executive Team Additions and Promotions

Greensboro, N.C. – August 4, 2017 – Global leader of innovative and sustainable textile fiber solutions Unifi, Inc. (NYSE: UFI) today announced the appointments of Richard E. Gerstein as executive vice president, global branded Premium Value Added (PVA) products and chief marketing officer, and John Vegas as executive vice president, global chief human resources officer, effective August 14th and 21st, respectively.

Commenting on the appointments, Unifi's Chief Executive Officer Kevin Hall said: “Together Richard and John bring over 50 years of strategic experience to the team. We look forward to the insight they’ll provide as we continue to expand globally.”

Gerstein brings to Unifi thirty years of P&L and marketing expertise, and an ability to attract and build strong teams. He has served in executive roles for global companies including Procter & Gamble, Alberto Culver, Hewlett Packard, and Sears Holdings. Gerstein also sits on the advisory board of Motista, and served on the board of Lands’ End.

"Richard brings leadership experience in the US and internationally as both a manufacturer and retailer,” said Hall. “He has a diverse skill base across strategic planning, marketing, digital, and partnership development, as well as valuable expertise driving growth in consumer products, technology, e-commerce, and retail.”

Vegas has over twenty years of global business experience, with his career encompassing multifunctional roles in human resources, general management, sales and retail operations for three Fortune 1000 companies. He is a skilled strategist who proactively builds and organizes teams to solve problems and accelerate business growth. Vegas serves on the Board of Trustees for The Nature Conservancy of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

"John has a strong track record of value creation through innovation, P&L management, and organizational development, as well as a diverse skill set across HR, sustainability and retail management,” said Hall. “We are excited by his ability to recruit and retain top talent, while also building scalable talent platforms in complex labor markets.”

Adding to Hall’s comments, Unifi Chairman James Mead stated: "Richard and John are excellent additions to our executive leadership team. Their experience will be invaluable as we continue to execute our strategic growth plan."

Concurrent with these additions, Unifi announces the promotion of Mark McNeill to executive vice president, global innovation. Commenting on McNeill’s promotion, Hall said: “This promotion reflects Mark’s outstanding contributions and leadership in technology and innovation efforts at Unifi for the past 20 years. Mark will also continue to lead the expansion efforts of our Asia business unit as he has done so successfully over the past two years.”

The Unifi sales organization will continue to be led by Jay Hertwig on the global PVA business, and Allen Smith on the regional polyester, nylon, and dye operations.

The Company is proceeding with its search for a CFO to round out the executive leadership team and expects to announce that appointment shortly.