It Started With One Man's Vision

We've always zigged where others zagged.

You might not expect a startup attitude from the great-great-grandson of a cotton mill owner. But when George Allen Mebane IV founded Unifi in 1971, he instilled the unique “outsider” perspective that we all share today: innate curiosity and a relentless drive to disrupt how textiles are made.

Mebane was a man of strong fiber. He was fascinated by the incredible power of manufacturing technology to inspire innovation, control quality and transform the industry. His daring investments in technology and know-how would set the stage for our success for years to come.

Turning Point

When the chips were down, Unifi doubled down.

In the 1980s, the so-called “polyester fad” was waning. And the Vietnam War and its aftermath complicated operations. So what did we do? We doubled down on more advanced technology. The gamble paid off as the market discovered new uses for polyester and nylon. Our business came roaring back.

We led the way into the Chinese market when it first opened its doors to trade. As the next 20 years unspooled, we enlarged our global footprint and diversified. This added to our tool belt, making us a one-stop shop for high-quality synthetics—and the industry’s go-to team of experts.

Tech Savvy

We searched for the next disruption.

To ensure relevance with customers and consumers, Unifi kept searching for the next disruption. In the early 2000’s, the global market opportunity shifted to premium, value-added fibers and Unifi introduced branded performance technologies with innovative moisture-wicking, odor control and inherent stretch properties.

Total Transparency

Unifi developed REPREVE, the world's leading recycled fiber.

However, it was in 2007—with the development of REPREVE, the world’s leading, branded recycled fiber—that Unifi found its true calling, taking sustainability to the next level. It started as a way to recycle our own manufacturing waste. Then we realized we would have enormous impact if we also recycled PET bottles—a resource that gets tossed into landfills by the billions. The REPREVE Bottle Processing Center and REPREVE Recycling Center were built to transform plastic bottles into flake, resin and fiber of the highest quality and integrity.

Because our customers wanted more than recycled content, we blended REPREVE with innovative premium technologies, creating a high-quality performance recycled fiber. And we introduced U Trust verification, with traceable FiberPrint technology, to back up our customers' recycled claims. 

Out in the market, we told our story through our brand partners' success—an eco-friendly message that consumers could trust.

Business Without Borders

Unifi reinvented the model of a global supply chain.

Over the past 10 years, as the focus shifted to sustainable solutions and worldwide sourcing, supply chain excellence became more relevant than ever before. Unifi made it possible to offer the same quality and innovation in every corner of the world.

We collaborated on creative solutions, partnerships and proprietary processes that made our ideas and products available wherever customers needed them: Asia, Europe, Central America and the Middle East. We always remain open to new markets and ways to work together.

Looking Forward to What's Next

Every day is a new chance to innovate.

We value our history, but we are always looking forward, focused on where we need to be and not where we have been. We gaze into microscopes. Build the manufacturing capabilities of the future. Listen to our customers and dig deep into trends. Like our founder, we embrace technology, but know that our own ingenuity and sense of teamwork are what set us apart. Our M.O. has always been to seek innovation and disruption in textiles to make a better world. Our history proves that true innovation starts in the fiber. And with Unifi, it never stops.

More About Unifi

Our People

Global Diversity

At Unifi, our team members are our most vital element for success. The textile industry is one of the most technologically advanced businesses in the world, and our global, diverse team ensures we are providing superior product of high quality, and at a value that enables our partners to win in the marketplace.

Our Culture

Agents of Ingenuity

True innovation starts in each one of us—working in diverse teams of experts from all over the world, as we investigate, collaborate, innovate and deliver never-before-seen solutions that capture the imagination and shake up markets. It takes a special culture to serve our customers with such passion.