Ralph Lauren Corp. has released a circularity strategy to further its sustainability goals that focuses on three pillars: design for circularity, establish circular experiences for consumers and advance a circular product economy.
“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 life cycles,” said Patrice Louvet, president and chief executive officer of Ralph Lauren Corp.
As part of the strategy, Ralph Lauren is also disclosing a partnership with McDonough Innovation to achieve Cradle to Cradle certification, a globally recognized 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, CEO of McDonough Innovation and coauthor of “Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things.”
“Though 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,” McDonough said.
The circularity strategy builds on Design the Change, Ralph Lauren’s framework for citizenship and sustainability that it established in 2019. Design the Change is focused on three areas — Creating Timeless Style, Protecting the Environment and Championing Better Lives. In 2019, the brand signed onto the United Nations Global Compact, joining other companies across industries to implement universal sustainability principles and to take steps to support U.N. goals.
The new circularity strategy focuses on three pillars:
- Design for Circularity: In the immediate term, the company has established a goal to make five iconic products Cradle to Cradle Certified by 2025. They include bestsellers such as polo shirts, chinos, denim and sweaters. Looking further ahead, the company will bring circular design principles, applying learnings from certified icons to other key product categories.
- Create Circular Consumer Experiences: This builds on the company’s recent investment in and launch of “The Lauren Look,” its first subscription apparel rental initiative with the Lauren Ralph Lauren brand. As reported, Ralph Lauren will offer more circular experiences for consumers starting in 2022 by enabling product collection to support resale and recycling options for its products, and enhancing vintage selling capabilities.
- Advance a Circular Product Economy: To help the industry 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 they are of the same quality and feel as virgin materials. As reported, in August 2020, Ralph Lauren made a minority investment in Natural Fiber Welding, a sustainable material science startup that is scaling a new industry standard for natural fiber recycling. As part of the commitment, Ralph Lauren will produce 100 percent recycled cotton products across its portfolio by 2025.
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