Greensboro, North Carolina-based, Unifi Inc. has joined the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) as an official partner of UNC Athletics to promote recycling efforts among students, faculty, fans and alumni.
UNC Athletics becomes the first collegiate athletics program to join Repreve’s #TurnItGreen movement. Unifi’s Repreve is made from recycled-content plastic fiber, including polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles.
Unifi opened its Yadkinville, North Carolina, recycled-content plastic fiber manufacturing plant in May 2010.
Repreve’s initiative with UNC will branch across UNC Athletics with Repreve-based activations at major sporting events. The program was secured by UNC Athletics’ exclusive multimedia rights holder, Learfield Sports’ Tar Heel Sports Properties.
Repreve is a recycled fiber brand and is used in brands such as Ford, Haggar, Polartec, Quiksilver and Patagonia, according to Unifi.
Dec. 3, 2014, Repreve will kick off its efforts with UNC by distributing more than 22,000 lime green Repreve-based #TurnItGreen t-shirts with a “Carolina Blue NC” to each attending fan. Additionally, UNC cheerleaders, band members and even the Tar Heel mascot, Rameses will wear the Repreve T-shirts.
“Carolina Athletics is committed to increasing recycling awareness and sustainability efforts amongst our students, alumni and fans across the nation,” says Bubba Cunningham, UNC director of athletics. “This partnership will further integrate sustainability into the campus environment, and we’re excited to have the support of a brand that is encouraging our students to make decisions that benefit not only themselves but future generations as well.”
In addition to the #TurnItGreen basketball game Dec. 3, Repreve will offer fans a chance to win a variety of prizes made from Repreve during a “Take the Smart Shot” challenge, encouraging everyone to throw their plastic bottles into the recycling bin instead of the trash can. The “Take the Smart Shot” challenge will extend into a campuswide recycling competition among students that will lead into the 2015 UNC graduation ceremony, where graduating students will wear gowns made with Repreve. The company says about 27 recycled PET plastic bottles are used to make each gown.
“Working with Repreve gives us the opportunity to show how green our students and fan base can be, and I’m confident they will rise to the challenge,” says Roy Williams, men’s basketball coach at UNC. “Recycling really does make a significant impact, and we want everyone to take what they learn in the stands and put it into action, so that the entire campus community will recycle even more than we do currently.”
Together, Repreve and the Tar Heels will set a yet-determined plastic bottle recycling goal for the campus. When the goal is reached, Repreve says it will donate to the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, a cancer research and treatment center on the UNC campus.