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By Meredith Boyd

What does it take to be a belief-driven company? I recently attended Textiles Exchange in Milan, Italy with other industry leaders, where we explored this very question.

A company’s drive to operate on its beliefs is determined by what those values are. Having firm beliefs strengthens your organization, creating a foundation to stand on and a purpose to guide your corporate citizenship platform and practices.

For some, this might mean an emphasis on collaboration. Nothing works well when we don’t work together—and this is particularly true for organizations with a sustainability focus. To meet our customers’ needs, respect our environment and work toward a better future, we need to put aside any differences we may have and work together to tackle the challenges we collectively face "for the good of tomorrow."

And to achieve a better future, we must also prioritize innovation. That means being a good partner to our customers by staying focused on their priorities and business objectives, while thinking ahead to the next industry trends to be able to efficiently deliver value based on those themes. Creating differentiation that meets our customers’ needs also adds credibility to our reputation as solutions providers. At Unifi we’re proud to always place our customers first and support them—both directly and at the brand, retail and consumer levels—with the transparency and opportunity our materials and innovations bring to the market.

We’re also committed to educating others about the benefits of sustainable materials. While there are a variety of materials at our disposal, belief-driven companies may be more likely to pick the option that has the best positive impact for the environment. We work with hundreds of brands on a daily basis who share this commitment with us—and this gives us hope for what our world might look like in the future.

At Unifi, we’ve undergone a major transformation. While we started as a virgin producer when we were founded in 1971, we have since become a champion of the circular economy. We’ve evolved through product capability, availability and innovation to support global brands who are making externally-facing commitments to use more sustainable materials, like our recycled fiber REPREVE. This shift represents one of our company’s most essential moves—and marks the beginning of our focus forward. And when we share our purpose with customers, brands and consumers we work with, we help them make business decisions with impact that they can have confidence in.

Whether you’re an entry-level employee or the CEO of your organization, you can transform your company to become belief-driven. The first step is deciding what matters most. For us at Unifi, it’s sustainability, innovation and our commitment to our customers. Our beliefs define our purpose—and drive everything we do.