Those of you watching ESPN’s X Games Aspen in January might have noticed the sea of neon green surrounding the SuperPipe during the Women’s finals. At a closer glance, the green swarm consisted of hundreds of green beanies that were distributed by REPREVE, the official recycling sponsor of the X Games. (www.repreve.com)
Repreve is the name given to a brand of fibers that contains recycled materials, such as plastic bottles, in order to conserve natural resources. The manufacturing company, Unifi, makes Repreve using less petroleum and emits fewer greenhouse gases than during the production of most other fibers. Bett Anderson, Communication Manager with REPREVE said, “We started recycling our own internal waste and playing around with some things, and that’s how the product was born.” Those lime green beanies we saw at the X Games were actually made using six recycled plastic bottles each. They were distributed as a jump-start to REPREVE’s #TurnItGreen campaign, which was created to raise awareness about recycling and help consumers realize that every bottle recycled makes a difference and can help turn everyday things greener. Anderson added, “The X Games was just the kick-off to the campaign. It will evolve as it goes.”
Elena Hight, 24, is a two-time Olympian and women’s SuperPipe professional athlete and is also brand ambassador for REPREVE. She was hard to miss at the X Games this year, as she helped to spread recycling awareness in her lime green competition jacket. The jacket was made using 50 recycled bottles with the collaboration of REPREVE and Volcom, a popular modern lifestyle apparel brand. With these companies, she has also designed exclusive REPREVE-based T-shirts, which will soon be available for purchase through both companies at Volcom.com and repreve.com.
REPREVE’s brand of recycled fibers contains materials such as pre-consumer manufacturing waste and post-consumer plastic bottles. The fiber can then contribute to the “greener” creation of products in a variety of arenas from apparel to automotive. Big-name brands and retailers already using REPREVE include The North Face, Patagonia, Ford, Haggar, and Polartec. These companies know that REPREVE is not only “creating a reprieve for our planet” through the use of recycled materials, but also that it creates a first-quality fiber that performs and acts like a non-recycled product.
If there’s one thing that the company wants people to know, it’s that recycling even one plastic bottle can make a considerable impact. According to REPREVE’s website, (www.repreve.com) “it’s what’s in it that counts.” That one bottle joins with other recycled bottles to create REPREVE recycled fiber, which then can help create a vast range of sustainable products. As mentioned earlier, many clothing brands have already adopted REPREVE to aid in the production of their merchandise. For example, according to REPREVE’s stats, 42 recycled bottles help to make the cloth seats in a Ford Fusion. Seven bottles can help make a pair of Life Khaki pants by Haggar, and five bottles will help make a T-shirt.
Apart from the “green” path of production with REPREVE fiber, the company wants to spread awareness of the other endless benefits of recycling. With tactics such as the #TurnItGreen campaign, the company wants to create change and hope that people everywhere will become more emotionally invested in recycling. Their website dishes out the stats and shows that in 2012, U.S. production of REPREVE reclaimed over 410 million recycled plastic bottles. According to their research, this helped save the energy equivalent of 3.8 million gallons of gasoline, the amount of carbon sequestered by 2,934 acres of pine forest, and the amount of water equal to daily drinking water for 52,313 people for one year.
We all know that recycling is good for the planet, but REPREVE really encompasses everything “green”. This company strives to protect the environment and hopes to spread the benefits and dedication to recycling as far as possible. While there are many things we can do to recycle more and waste less, remember that even one recycled bottle makes a difference.