12 recycled plastic bottles used to make Ralph Lauren’s ‘Earth Polo’

12 recycled plastic bottles used to make Ralph Lauren’s ‘Earth Polo’

April 29, 2019
Press Release: Polo Ralph Lauren

With sustainable fashion at the forefront of a lot of designers’ minds, RL has introduced the Earth Polo, which promises to leave less of an impact on the environment than ever before

The fashion industry is increasingly scrutinized for its negative impact on the environment – and with good reason. Last year, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature claimed in one report that more than a third of all microplastics released into the oceans emanated from synthetic textiles used in the fashion sector. Perhaps the scrutiny is justified, when you consider that up to 700,000 microfibers can be released into the ocean from just a single item being machine-washed; microfibers that are being consumed by fish and subsequently by us.

Naturally, the adverse publicity has led to countless sustainability initiatives being announced, ranging from mere PR stunt to actual ingrained strategy and ethos. In commemoration of Earth Day last week, fashion house Ralph Lauren announced the ‘re-imagineering’ of its iconic Polo shirt with plastic pollution in mind. Crafted from thread derived entirely from – on average – 12 recycled plastic bottles, the ‘Earth Polo’ is also dyed in an eco-friendly process that uses zero water.

“Ralph Lauren will commit to removing at least 170 million bottles from landfills and oceans, and will convert the use of all virgin poly-fiber to recycled poly-fiber by 2025,” confirmed David Lauren, chief innovation officer. “Plastic waste is a major issue threatening the environment – we want to be part of the solution and utilize an innovative approach to create something valuable.”

The Earth Polo was produced in partnership with First Mile, an organization with a global mission focused on sustainability and positive social impact. First Mile works with entrepreneurs in low-income communities to collect recyclable plastic bottles, which are then processed through an eco-friendly manufacturing program and turned into high-quality yarn and, ultimately, fabric.

“When Ralph founded our company more than 50 years ago, he did so with the idea that whatever we create is meant to be worn, loved, and passed on for generations,” added Halide Alagoz, executive vice president, chief supply chain and sustainability officer. “It’s with this spirit of timelessness that we approach sustainability.”

For decades, the iconic Polo shirt has been used as a global symbol to help raise millions of dollars for philanthropic and social impact, including funding breast cancer research and care through the Pink Pony Fund, raising funds for global disaster relief, and supporting the LGBTQ community.

The Earth Polo will has been available for men and women in global retail stores and on RalphLauren.com since April 18 in four colors: Stuart Green, White, Navy, and Baby Blue. The company’s full Global Citizenship and Sustainability Report, including its comprehensive strategy and goals, will be published in June.

Plastic Free World Conference & Expo 2019 will take place from Thursday 27 June to Friday 28 June, at the Kap Europa, Frankfurt Messe, Frankfurt, Germany. To register for this highly focused and solutions-driven event, please click here. For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please email peter@trans-globalevents.com

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