The upholstery fabric manufacturer, Culp Inc. (together with its consolidated subsidiaries, CULP) announced that since the launch of its LiveSmart Evolve® fabric line in 2019, the company has helped divert over 63 million plastic bottles from landfills by integrating REPREVE® recycled fiber into its upholstery and mattress fabrics brands, including its LiveSmart Evolve fabric line.
Repreve yarn, a high-quality polyester yarn manufactured by Greensboro, N.C.-based Unifi Inc. from recycled post-consumer plastic bottles, is used in at least 30% of LiveSmart Evolve.
CULP has seen strong demand in its LiveSmart range of performance fabric products, including LiveSmart Barrier Plus™, LiveSmart Outdoor®, LiveSmart Ultra™, and LiveSmart Evolve, as a result of the pandemic and intensified market awareness on home protection and comfort.
As part of its dedication to environmental responsibility, the brand has worked hard to market its LiveSmart Evolve line as a commodity that enhances the stain-resistance and cleanability of its LiveSmart premium fabrics while also benefiting the environment and allowing environmentally aware customers to participate in positive change to protect natural resources.
Senior vice-president of marketing and design for Culp Upholstery Fabrics, Tammy Buckner, said at least 80% of plastic flows into the seas from shore, reaching over 8 million tonnes each year. CULP is fortunate to have such a close association with Unifi, and the use of Repreve in their upholstery fabrics has been a phenomenal success. However, through their LiveSmart Evolve sustainability thread, they've tried to turn this negative into a success.
He added that over the pandemic, there has been a surge in demand for fabrics with a sustainability theme. Consumers are no longer just talking about it; they are taking steps to ensure that their home investments represent their own contribution to environmental improvement. They are trying to reduce the plastic crisis until it reaches landfills, rivers, and oceans by integrating Repreve yarn into their fabric.
Brian Moore, vice-president of global brand distribution for Unifi Inc., said of their collaboration, their collaboration with CULP is a win-win for the environment. They can combine sustainability and performance by converting plastic bottles into Repreve recycled fiber and giving them a second life. They're proud to put in today's effort for tomorrow's benefit.
CULP also continues to work on designing new product lines that are environmentally friendly, such as mattress fabrics that use recycled and biodegradable materials.
Buckner added CULP is committed to being a part of the circular economy that takes their goods (and waste) out of landfills by using recycled materials and design that is devoted to making robust and long-lasting products.
CULP is committed to other sustainability programs in its production and everyday activities, such as reduction of energy, water use, and waste, in addition to its emphasis on environmental responsibility through its products. The company's manufacturing facilities in Quebec, Canada, run on 99.8% sustainable green energy from hydro and wind, and its processing plant in Knoxville, Tennessee, runs on solar power. Water reuse and re-use are also practiced at the company's Stokesdale, NC plant, and paper recycling systems are implemented at both of the company's U.S. and Canadian locations.
In addition, the company's mattress fabrics division reached a landfill-free status in all of its U.S. manufacturing plants in 2020, and the company joined the Sustainable Furnishings Council in 2021 to help raise awareness and encourage the implementation of environmentally sustainable practices in the home furnishings industry.
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