GREENSBORO — Unifi, global textile solutions provider, and the Wyndham Championship raised awareness around the importance of plastic recycling during the 79th annual Wyndham Championship in Greensboro on August 13-19.
Through the partnership, announced in April, Unifi was an official recycling partner of last week’s PGA TOUR event and collaborated with the Wyndham Championship to encourage thousands of golf fans to be even more sustainable, on and off the course. This effort included a limited-edition line of Wyndham Championship hats and t-shirts, made from REPREVE recycled fibers, that sold out at the tournament’s Ralph Lauren Merchandise Pavilion.
Unifi makes its REPREVE performance fiber from 100 percent recycled materials, including plastic bottles, preventing billions of bottles from going into landfills each year. To date, Unifi has transformed more than 12 billion recycled plastic bottles into REPREVE products and has a goal to recycle 30 billion bottles by 2022.
Unifi partnered with Republic Services to place 300 co-branded REPREVE recycling bins throughout Greensboro’s Sedgefield Country Club. With the participation of tens of thousands of Wyndham Championship attendees, an estimated 1.8 tons of plastic bottles were collected, recycled and diverted from landfills—equivalent to the weight of a mid-sized car or enough to create thousands of shirts and hats for future championship products.
“When consumers understand that just one plastic bottle can be transformed into a pair of golf socks, it truly brings the power of recycling to life,” said Richard Gerstein, Unifi’s executive vice president of global branded premium value-added products and chief marketing and innovation officer. “Like sports, recycling has the power to bring people together in support of a cause. People feel empowered when they’re part of something bigger like creating a better tomorrow.”
“Thinking of all the plastic bottles recycled at the Wyndham Championship as thousands of future tournament shirts and hats really puts recycling in perspective,” tournament director Mark Brazil said. “We are grateful to Unifi for teaming with Republic Services in an effort to enhance our recycling efforts, and these numbers clearly show the effort was successful. We can’t do too much to protect the environment, and we appreciate Unifi’s support in this important area.”
To highlight the sustainability story of many popular brands, Unifi also brought its REPREVE mobile tour to the tournament. Fans visited the tour, learning how to #TurnItGreen by experiencing firsthand the vast possibilities that result from reimagining plastic bottles. The tour educated fans of all ages about the importance of recycling and buying recycled, as well as showcased products from leading brands that use REPREVE, ranging from garments to accessories.
In addition to the array of branded products displayed in its tour, the company also collaborated with Sunbrella, Vapor Apparel and New Era Cap during the championship. Golf fans were able to participate in REPREVE’s contest to win an Under Armour Sunbrella golf bag made with Sunbrella’s leading edge fabrics and purchase Wyndham Championship merchandise made with REPREVE by Vapor Apparel and New Era Cap, further contributing to the fight against plastic waste.
With some estimates suggesting that Americans dispose of as much as 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour—70 percent of which end up in landfills—recycling is now more important than ever. The partnership between Unifi and the Wyndham Championship addressed these challenges, proving sustainability can be achieved when everyone comes together to recycle.