Ralph Lauren to meet sustainability goals with circularity strategy

Ralph Lauren has come up with a circularity strategy to meet its sustainability goals. The strategy is based on three pillars – design for circularity, establish circular experiences for consumers and advance a circular product economy. The company is also partnering with McDonough Innovation to achieve Cradle to Cradle certification for its iconic products.

“The spirit of timelessness has been core to Ralph’s creative vision for more than 50 years, and our circularity approach reinforces our belief that Ralph Lauren products should not only endure the test of time, but have endless lifecycles,” said Patrice Louvet, president and CEO, Ralph Lauren Corporation.

As part of the strategy, the company has entered a partnership with McDonough Innovation to achieve Cradle to Cradle certification, a globally recognised measure of safer, more sustainable products, with some of its most iconic products.

“For decades Ralph Lauren has set standards for innovation and been a visionary in American fashion,” said William McDonough, chief executive of McDonough Innovation and co-author of Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. “Through this new strategy, Ralph Lauren is setting another benchmark as they embrace their authentic ethos of timelessness and create products designed to be reimagined in perpetuity.”

Building on Design the Change, the company’s framework for citizenship and sustainability, the new circularity strategy will focus on three pillars.

As part of the first pillar – Design for Circularity – the company has set a goal to make five iconic products Cradle to Cradle certified by 2025. Brand icons are made year-round and represent some of the Ralph Lauren best sellers – from polo shirts and chinos to denim and sweaters. Looking farther ahead, the company will bring circular design principles, applying learnings from certified icons, to other key product categories.

The company will also focus on create circular consumer experiences. Building on the company’s recent investment in and launch of the Lauren Look, its first subscription apparel rental initiative for the Lauren Ralph Lauren brand, Ralph Lauren will begin to offer more circular experiences for consumers beginning in 2022 by enabling product collection to support resale and recycling options for beloved Ralph Lauren products and by enhancing vintage selling capabilities.

The third pillar of the strategy is advancing a circular product economy. To help the industry meaningfully shift from a linear to a circular product economy, Ralph Lauren will continue to invest in scalable technologies that will elevate the quality of recycled materials so that they are of the same high quality and feel as virgin material. In 2020, Ralph Lauren invested in Natural Fibre Welding, a leading sustainable material science startup that is scaling a new industry standard for natural fibre recycling. Ralph Lauren intends to produce 100oer cent recycled cotton products of the high quality for across its portfolio by 2025.

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