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New Era Cap Co. Inc. announces the debut of its first-ever official National Basketball Association (NBA) cap made with plastic bottles, featuring the Portland Trail Blazers, thanks to the use of REPREVE recycled fiber. The new, environmentally conscious New Era 9FIFTY® cap will launch exclusively with the Trail Blazers, coinciding with NBA Green Week. The REPREVE-based caps will be sold at Rip City Clothing Company at the Moda Center during Trail Blazers games on April 6 and April 8, and will retail for $30. Each hat is made using four recycled plastic bottles.
REPREVE is a leading recycled fiber made from plastic bottles, created by textile manufacturer, Unifi, Inc. (NYSE:UFI). To ensure that products made with REPREVE are traceable, transparent and environmentally responsible, Unifi utilizes its proprietary U TRUST™ verification program. U TRUST is a third-party, comprehensive certification program that is designed to provide REPREVE customers with a high level of transparency. As part of the U TRUST program, Unifi uses FIBERPRINT™ technology, a unique tool allowing Unifi to analyze fabrics and products for the FIBERPRINT signature and certify the level of REPREVE content.
“The synergy between REPREVE and New Era Cap represents one of incredible quality and performance, along with a commitment to eco-friendliness,” said Mark Maidment, vice president, creative for New Era Cap. “Not only does New Era Cap value environmental consciousness, but consumers are also increasingly looking for products with a transparent sustainability story. Through its U TRUST program, Unifi helps us deliver a trustworthy, environmentally responsible cap.”
“The Trail Blazers’ commitment to sustainability is long-standing, and places us among the leaders in all of professional sports, with initiatives ranging from food recovery and energy efficiency, to composting and balancing our water use,” said Christa Stout, Trail Blazers vice president of social responsibility. “Key to that success are committed partners in all of our initiatives who support our focus on impacting kids and families where they live, learn and play. We’re thrilled to join with New Era Cap and Unifi in this cool and authentic partnership.”
The New Era 9FIFTY® cap is the company’s classic snapback style with a structured front panel and a full crown, combined with an environmentally responsible twist because it’s made with REPREVE recycled fiber. The visor is designed to be worn flat but can be curved as desired for individualized styling.
“New Era Cap is renowned for its ability to fuse innovative design with performance and quality,” said Jay Hertwig, vice president of global brand sales, marketing and product development for Unifi. “Unifi is proud to be associated with New Era Cap through its officially licensed hats for the Trail Blazers, and we look forward to potential future collaborations.”
Unifi also recently announced its collaboration with seven professional sports teams, including the Trail Blazers. The collaboration involves engaging crowds in messages aimed at environmental responsibility, as well as the launch of the REPREVE Ultimate Sports Fan Experience, a sweepstakes series consisting of once-in-a- lifetime experiences with multiple professional sports franchises. In addition, Unifi’s national REPREVE #TurnItGreen mobile tour will make stops at the Moda Center before the April 6 and April 8 games. The #TurnItGreen tour includes a custom-designed, interactive trailer that travels the nation to educate the public about the importance of recycling and showcase the high-quality REPREVE-based products that can be made when fans recycle their plastic bottles.
The Moda Center, home of the Trail Blazers, received LEED Gold Recertification in 2015 after becoming the first existing professional sports venue in the world to receive LEED Gold status in 2010. The Trail Blazers are also one of the founding members of the Green Sports Alliance, whose 383 members, including 180 teams, leverage the cultural and market influence of sports to promote healthy, sustainable communities.