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Walmart Purchases the Equivalent of One Billion Plastic Bottles Worth of Recycled Polyester

Unifi, Inc. (NYSE: UFI), one of the world’s leading innovators in recycled and synthetic yarns, is recognizing Walmart for purchasing the equivalent of one billion post-consumer plastic bottles1 worth of REPREVE recycled performance fibers. Walmart is now a part of the highest tier of REPREVE’s Champions of Sustainability program: the Billion Bottle Circle.

Walmart first purchased recycled PET products from Unifi in 2012. In 2019, Walmart announced a goal to source 50% recycled polyester fibers for its private brand textiles by 2025, and since then, REPREVE volume accelerated by over 200% through Walmart’s suppliers and partner manufacturers.

“We’ve been using REPREVE’s recycled fibers for 10 years now, and this achievement is the result of not only our commitment to a more sustainable supply chain, but that of our customers, who have purchased products in our stores made with REPREVE,” said Deanah Baker, SVP Merchant, Men’s, Kids, Footwear, Walmart U.S. “This is part of Walmart’s larger goal to move toward a circular economy, where materials stay in use in a productive way that is better for the environment.”

Producing REPREVE recycled polyester2 comes with additional environmental benefits. In comparison to the manufacturing impacts of producing virgin polyester, Unifi estimates that the volume of REPREVE recycled polyester produced for Walmart would have:

  • Saved enough energy to power 9,500 homes for 1 year OR the energy equivalent to burning roughly 4.7 million gallons of gas.
  • Saved enough water to provide 117,000 people their typical daily drinking water for one year OR

saved nearly 22.5 million gallons of water.

  • Improved air quality by avoiding nearly 26 million kgs of CO2 emissions OR eliminated CO2 emissions from the consumption of more than 60,000 barrels of oil.

“We congratulate Walmart for this huge accomplishment,” said Unifi CEO Eddie Ingle. “By using REPREVE fibers in its fitness, apparel and fashion lines, the company has helped us divert more than a billion plastic bottles from our landfills. Due to Walmart’s scale and reach, commitment to sustainability, and ability to set goals and reach them, we are seeing a shining example of how large retailers can drive change and improve material usage for our earth. We want to thank Walmart for helping us work today for the good of tomorrow.”

Walmart products made with REPREVE can be found in stores and online. Look for the green stripe with REPREVE messaging on Walmart tags in Time & Tru denim, Avia footwear, Wonder Nation and Athletic Works socks, and more. Check out more REPREVE items like the RealTree Fishing Shirts, Mossy Oak Hunting Tees, Jordache and Justice kids’ denim.

1 Unifi’s bottle (standard 16.9 oz bottle size) count calculations are based on tracked pounds of REPREVE yarn, fiber, and resin sold to approved Walmart suppliers and used for Walmart program. Estimated bottles are based on a standard, proprietary number of bottles per pound of REPREVE rPET product type shipped.

2 Unifi’s environmental impact estimates are calculated using internal data based on UMI operating data studies.