JCPenney earns first-ever REPREVE® Champions of Sustainability award

The JCPenney product development and design team
The JCPenney product development and design team accepts the REPREVE Champions of Sustainability award in early February.
[From left: Dwayne Ayers, Brand Sales Manager for UNIFI; Pamela Velez, Senior Designer for JCPenney; Kenny Stewart, Product Innovation Senior Manager for JCPenney; Jay Hertwig, Vice President of Global Brand Sales for UNIFI; Ashia Elliott, Designer for JCPenney; Navendu Sharma, Fabric Research & Development Senior Manager for JCPenney; Donnie Harrison, Product Innovation Senior Manager for JCPenney.]

Retailer partners with REPREVE to find new life for plastic bottles in eco-chic clothing

As environmentally-conscious consumers seek more sustainable options in their apparel and home needs, JCPenney is providing innovative solutions. The retailer has diverted more than 10 million plastic bottles from going in to landfills by incorporating REPREVE recycled fibers into many of the Company’s private brand products.

Recognizing this commitment to sustainability, Unifi, Inc. has presented JCPenney with an inaugural Champions of Sustainability award for the Company’s use of REPREVE fiber. Unifi, the makers of REPREVE, transforms plastic bottles into recycled fibers (or yarn) through a proprietary process that enables retailers and brands to produce clothing, swimwear, outdoor gear, totes and bags, car interiors and more. This award honors retailers that played an important part in Unifi’s recent milestone of recycling 10 billion bottles.

“We are proud to honor JCPenney for its exemplary leadership in sustainability and to recognize the retailer’s contribution to the more than 10 billion bottles that Unifi has recycled so far,” said Jay Hertwig, Group Vice President, Global Brand Sales at Unifi. “More than 70 percent of plastic bottles in the United States end up in a landfill and by working with companies like JCPenney, we can help save the planet and make everyday life better by transforming recycled plastic bottles into the apparel and products consumers wear and use daily.”

Last year, JCPenney introduced eco-friendly denim into The Original Arizona Jean Co.®, the retailer’s popular kids and teen brand. Shoppers can choose from various styles of sustainable jeans made with 20 percent REPREVE polyester created from recycled plastic bottles. Products made with these types of sustainable fibers help conserve energy and natural resources without compromising style, comfort and value.

“Our customers told us they wanted more eco-friendly apparel choices for the same value we offer every day, and we listened,” said Val Harris, senior vice president of product development and design at JCPenney. “We worked diligently to incorporate more recycled materials into our private brands, helping to protect the environment and provide our shoppers with sustainable options that make greener living easy and affordable. We are very proud to earn the REPREVE Champions of Sustainability award for our efforts, and will continue to explore more opportunities to incorporate recycled fibers into our apparel and home designs.”

In addition to Arizona jeans, JCPenney has incorporated eco-friendly materials into dozens of products within its private brands including a.n.a®, St. John’s Bay® for women and men, Liz Claiborne®, Belle + Sky™ and Bold Elements.