Eastman launches Avra™ Performance Fibers, introducing a polyester fiber with a unique combination of size, shape, and performance to the active apparel market




Salt Lake City, Utah, August 3, 2016 – The next generation of polyester fibers was introduced to the performance apparel market today when Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE: EMN) announced the launch of Avra™ Performance Fibers. Avra™ is a family of performance fibers enabled by a proprietary spinning technology. The first product enables a revolutionary ribbon-shaped synthetic fiber with a combination of shape and size never before seen, backed by a company with a 96-year history of manufacturing excellence.

“The apparel industry has known for decades that finer fibers create fabrics with softer hand and enhanced performance,” said Tim Dell, Eastman Vice President. “There is a limit, however, to how fine you can go and still knit or weave on conventional equipment.” Avra’s ultra-thin polyester fibers are extruded and held together by a proprietary removable polymer, enabling easy knitting or weaving. Once the fabric is made, the removable polymer completely washes away in hot water, resulting in ribbon-like fibers that are smaller than existing polyester fibers. “The result is a distinctly silky fabric that keeps wearers drier and more comfortable than ever before,” he said.

The performance benefits imparted by this first Avra product include exceptional moisture management and a chemical-free “cool to the touch” sensation. Fabrics made with Avra dry quickly – up to 50% faster than conventional polyester fabrics, helping wearers stay cooler and more comfortable during demanding physical activities. In addition, the highly flexible fibers enabled by Avra further enhance wearer comfort through the superior drape and remarkable softness they provide. That’s performance you can feel.

Avra fibers are made in the USA in collaboration with Unifi, Inc. in Yadkinville, N.C.. This joint effort has enabled a physical plant expansion at Unifi and provided additional jobs to the region. “Innovation in the Americas is more important today than ever before,” said Mark McNeill, vice president of technology and business development at Unifi. “Combining the technology and quality-driven expertise of Eastman and Unifi will help provide the industry with the next level of performance-enhancing fibers.”

To speak to an Eastman representative about the Avra Performance Fibers platform, please contact us at info@AVRAfromEastman.com.

About Eastman Chemical Company
Eastman is a global specialty chemical company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. With a portfolio of specialty businesses, Eastman works with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions while maintaining a commitment to safety and sustainability. Its market-driven approaches take advantage of world-class technology platforms and leading positions in attractive end-markets such as transportation, building and construction, and consumables. Eastman focuses on creating consistent, superior value for all stakeholders. As a globally diverse company, Eastman serves customers in approximately 100 countries and had 2015 revenues of approximately $9.6 billion. The company is headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA and employs approximately 15,000 people around the world. For more information, visit www.eastman.com.

About Unifi
Unifi, Inc. is a multi-national manufacturing company that produces and sells textured and other processed yarns designed to meet customer specifications, and premium value-added (“PVA”) yarns with enhanced performance characteristics. Unifi maintains one of the textile industry’s most comprehensive polyester and nylon product offerings. Unifi enhances demand for its products, and helps others in creating a more effective textile industry supply chain, through the development and introduction of branded yarns that provide unique performance, comfort and aesthetic advantages. In addition to its flagship REPREVE® products – a family of eco-friendly yarns made from recycled materials – key Unifi brands include: SORBTEK® , REFLEXX® , AIO® – all-in-one performance yarns, SATURA® , AUGUSTA® , A.M.Y.® , MYNX® UV and MICROVISTA® . Unifi's yarns are readily found in the products of major brands in the apparel, hosiery, automotive, home furnishings, industrial and other end-use markets. For more information about Unifi, visit www.unifi.com; to learn more about REPREVE®, visit www.REPREVE.com.

Eastman Contacts:
John Cahill, jcahill@eastman.com, 423-229-5306
Brad Lifford, blifford@eastman.com, 423-229-6543

Unifi Contact:
Jennifer Whisnant, jwhisnant@quixotegroup.com

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