#Hashtags aren’t everything

What is Unifi Inc.?

Unifi. Inc is a leading manufacturing plant that produces recycled multi-filament polyester and nylon textured fibers. Sustainability is the driving focus in all Unifi. Inc innovations. By utilizing recycled plastic bottles that are turned into pellets which in turn are melted down and extruded, Unifi. Inc is diverting more than 4 billion water bottles into their REPREVE fibers.

What is REPREVE?

REPREVE is one of Unifi. Inc’s most popular recycled fibers. REPREVE is not only changing the face of sustainability, but there is the added component of traceability and transparency of fiber production. Apparel brands are able to provide their consumers with the knowledge and trust that all apparel donning the REPREVE label is traceable, transparent and made in a sustainable way.

Unifi.Inc with the help of the REPREVE fibers has some amazing collaborations -

  • New Era Cap and other NFL/NHL teams
  • UNC Chapel Hill Tar Heels
  • X Games
  • Volcom

Partnerships:

The REPREVE brand is partnering with many companies in varying apparel industries to get their name and mission statement out to the general public. In 2014 they sponsored Elena Hight during the Winter X Games. During the X Games, the hashtag campaign #Turnitgreen was launched, on the ground consumer experiences occurred and prime time broadcast commercial aired on ESPN.

The #MaketheSmartThrow hashtag campaign sponsored Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford to highlight some of the ways fans can recycle and contribute to a better tomorrow. The campaign was a play on the many different ways one can throw a plastic bottle into a recycling bin. Fans were able to submit their best Smart Throws in order to win a prize.

In 2015, REPREVE (located in Greensboro, North Carolina) collaborated with the University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill Tar Heels to spread the word about the innovations and possibilities of the REPREVE fiber as well as raise awareness about recycling. The students traded their Carolina Blue to green REPREVE. The stadium was filled with green t-shirts and towels made from plastic bottles.

REPREVE recently partnered with Volcom to create their new Mod-Tech boardshorts…. And like DJ Khaled would say here is “ANOTHER ONE”: …. here is another video REPREVE made.

What are they doing well… and not so well?

From one opinion of a humble first year graduate student, I can congratulate REPREVE on their hustle! They are snatching up opportunities left and right to get the REPREVE name out there. From the NFL, X Games and college students, the mission is reaching a wide audience, but the real question is, is that mission sticking?

REPREVE creates A LOT of videos about their partnerships, collaborations and cool one off events … but is the end consumer really watching these 2–3 minute videos? If you compare video stats on youtube, most of the videos get 2–5,000 views. In the grand scheme for an ad that costs upwards of $50,000 to only get 5K views is a waste of money and resources. A question they should be asking is, “What is the purpose of this video? Who do we want this video to reach?”

An interesting take on ‘Mohammed going to the mountain’, is the REPREVE bus to spread the word about recycling education — The national #TurnItGreen mobile tour makes stops at universities, retail locations, major entertainment and sporting events, and elementary schools across the United States. Lunch and Learns are also a time to meet and greet with potential customers and educate them on the advantages of using REPREVE fibers. This is an active opportunity to create and build relationship with consumers they would not ordinarily interact with face to face.

Sustainability education should begin at an early age. REPREVE partnered with elementary schools across the U.S to start a Repreve Recycle Rally. The Repreve Recycle Challenge is an educational effort to increase awareness in school children about recycling and the awesome products that can be made from recycled materials. Schools across the nation are recycling plastic bottles to win super cool prizes PLUS a chance to win tickets to see the action-packed arena performance, Marvel Universe LIVE! This again, is a different avenue for REPREVE to continue educating young minds. A recent article in the Blue Ridge Now journal states that many stores like Target and JCPenney are highlighting items made with REPREVE for customers doing back to school shopping. REPREVE has tapped into a great market with childrens wear.

What are they doing well… and not so well?

It is great that REPREVE is highlighting their many partnerships, but the numerous videos they are publishing is not reaching any particular audience.They do not have a great Instagram presence and do not necessarily have any curated content for a specific target market. It is mainly a long list of retweets that have little interaction. The REPREVE marketing team should re-evaluate (moving forward) every tweet and ask the question “Who is this trying to reach?”. REPREVE is a business to business type of company but they do an amazing job of keeping each apparel companies end consumer in mind.

New opportunities?

In the past, REPREVE has had influencers they have sponsored (Detroit Lions QB and Pro Snowboarder). REPREVE should aspire to collaborate with a higher caliber/quality of influencer that has a larger online presence and followers via social media. They would be able to leverage those followers to gain more notoriety and education about the Unifi., mission statement about sustainability. When I ran a social media analysis, many of the online social interaction via Watson Analytics came from within the contiguous United States and Canada. REPREVE has the opportunity to not only expand to other countries consumer/apparel companies, but also get their recycled plastic bottles for more raw material for REPREVE.

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