DEARBORN — Buyers of Ford Motor Co.’s new 2013 Fusion Hybrid, the Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid or the Focus Electric can make a donation to eco-charities through the company that turns used plastic water bottles into seat fabric.
Unifi Inc. (NYSE: UFI), supplier of Repreve recycled fiber being used in the seat fabric of the new Fusion hybrids and the Focus Electric, donates a portion of Repreve sales to environmental nonprofit organizations. Included are Keep America Beautiful, American Rivers, Rocky Mountain Institute and Conservation Alliance.
Through the Repreve Gives Back program, Ford customers and supporters can help determine how the funds will be distributed among the four nonprofits. To vote, customers must “like” Repreve on Facebook and click the “Gives Back” tab to get a passcode. At www.repreve.com, customers can vote for their favorite environmental cause and learn more about Repreve.
“A core part of the Repreve brand is generating awareness around the importance of recycling, helping to increase the U.S. recycling rates and giving back through our Repreve Gives Back program,” said Roger Berrier, president and COO of Unifi. “Unifi’s Repreve Gives Back program helps to create the consumer connection between recycling and environmental sustainability.”
Repreve is made from a hybrid blend of post-industrial and post-consumer waste. Each Focus Electric seating interior contains the equivalent of about 22 recycled plastic bottles made of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) — the technical name of the plastic of which the bottles are made — while Fusion hybrids feature nearly 42 bottles.
In addition to recycling waste that otherwise could have ended up in landfills, Repreve reduces energy consumption by offsetting the need to use newly refined crude oil. Repreve fiber meets all Ford design and comfort requirements to help ensure the Fusion hybrids and Focus Electric meet the company’s high performance standards.
Unifi and Ford also are working together to set up plastic bottle collection points in Ford plants and offices in Michigan and California – bottles that could be part of the more than 2 million plastic bottles that will be recycled into Repreve for fabrics in the Fusion and Focus Electric in their first model years.
Ford’s “reduce, reuse and recycle” commitment is part of the company’s broader global sustainability strategy to reduce its environmental footprint while at the same time accelerating the development of advanced, fuel-efficient vehicle technologies around the world.
Over the past several years, Ford has concentrated on increasing the use of nonmetal recycled and bio-based materials whenever possible, provided these materials are environmentally favorable in the specific application. Examples include soy foam seat cushions and head restraints, wheat straw-filled plastic, castor oil foam in instrument panels, recycled resins for underbody systems, recycled yarns on seat covers and natural-fiber plastic for interior components.
In addition to Ford, Repreve can be found throughout many products made by some of the leading brands and retailers, including Polartec, Life Khaki, The North Face, Patagonia and Blue Avocado. Learn more at www.repreve.com.