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New collaborative hub at Darling Fibers

Ex-Wellman business in active discussions with partners to co-locate manufacturing and pilot new products.

13th July 2023

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Darlington, SC, USA

Clothing/​Footwear, Industrial

Fiber Industries, the largest domestic producer of polyester staple fibre in the USA, is being rebranded as Darling Fibers and establishing Darlington Green – a sustainability hub for textiles and packaging manufacturing and related research, development and innovation.

 “Our goal is to build on our rich heritage as an organisation by fostering innovation and spurring productivity while preserving and enhancing the environment,” said Darling Fibers CEO Don Bockoven. “We envisage accelerating the growth and resilience of America’s textiles and packaging industries through collaboration and partnership.”

To chart a clear path for Darlington Green, Darling Fibers is reimagining its 765-acre campus as a hub for textiles and packaging innovation and will take a lead role in forming an advisory board comprised of community and industry stakeholders.

Once operational, Darlington Green aims to bring together textiles and packaging manufacturers, state and local governments, academic research institutions, technologists, entrepreneurs and other interested parties to advance sustainability efforts.

“Darlington Green is in active discussions with partners to co-locate manufacturing and pilot new products and emerging recycling technologies, harness our collective expertise and revitalise the US polyester and plastic industries,” said George Bandy, chief sustainability officer at Darling Fibers.

Since restarting the former Wellman business in 2020, the company has retooled long-dormant manufacturing lines, re-established industry relationships, and refined its strategy for high-quality low-carbon product development.

Today, its one-million-square-foot, state-of-the-art polyester manufacturing facility can process a range of raw materials through to finished goods. While currently serving customers with existing inventory, Darling Fibers has been actively engaging with new customers to further scale its production of polyester fibre and chip.

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