We create garments that are meant to be loved, worn and passed down for generations.
Our products have always been created with a sense of timelessness. As we seek to make our products more sustainable, our commitment to create lasting, high-quality garments remains unchanged. To improve the sustainability of our products, we are focused on our design and sourcing practices, including responsible materials and chemical management, and establishing more transparency in our supply chain.
SUSTAINABLE PRODUCT DESIGN
All of our design, production and merchant teams will receive annual training on sustainable, circular, inclusive and culturally aware design by 2020
SOURCING & TRACEABILITY
100% of our key materials will be sustainably sourced by 2025
100% of animal-derived materials—as covered in our animal welfare policy—will be certified or traceable by 2025
We will eliminate the use of hazardous chemicals in our supply chain by 2025
Enduring Style, Made Responsibly
In an effort to reduce the environmental impact of our material use, we are committed to sustainably sourcing all of our key materials by 2025, including using recycled alternatives.
Across the apparel industry, more than 97 percent of the materials used are from virgin sources, which is resource-intensive to produce. As a brand with a deep history in quality and authenticity, materials have always mattered to us. We’ve prioritized durability, craftsmanship and performance to create products that stand the test of time. Since setting our 2025 goals for our key raw materials (cotton, wool, cashmere, leather, viscose, polyester and down), we have continued to refine our sustainable sourcing criteria, including using recycled alternatives.
We are inspired by nature and prefer natural over manmade fibers, with cotton making up 82 percent of our material use this past year. By 2025, we will only source sustainable cotton, such as Fair Trade certified, organic, recycled, transitional, cotton aligned to the US Cotton Trust Protocol and Better Cotton (BCI). Ralph Lauren is a proud member of the Better Cotton Initiative, and is committed to improving cotton farming practices globally. Better Cotton is not physically traceable to end products. However, BCI Farmers benefit from the demand for Better Cotton in equivalent volumes to those we ‘source.’ This past year, we sourced 6.5 tonnes of Better Cotton, which is equivalent to an estimated 8 percent of our cotton lint consumption. We aim to increase this number as we work toward our 2025 goal.
When we do use manmade fibers, we aim to use recycled or sustainably sourced options. Overall, polyester is our most used synthetic fiber, making up 6 percent of our total material use. We are actively working towards replacing virgin with recycled polyester across our products.Notably, our Earth Polo is made entirely from fiber derived from post consumer recycled ocean-bound plastic bottles. This transition is significant considering recycled polyester uses 45 percent less energy and emits 30 percent less carbon dioxide compared to virgin polyester.
As part of our sustainable design goal, we committed to training all of our design, production and merchant teams on cultural awareness.
We find beauty and inspiration in the landscapes, people and places we see each day. Our commitment to authenticity, a value since our founding more than 50 years ago, guides our desire to ensure that the sources of our inspirations and sensibilities are respected and strengthened when they are represented through our brand.
As part of our sustainable design goal, we committed to training all of our design, production and merchant teams on cultural awareness by 2020. This past year, we created a custom educational program for our teams that included in-person workshops as well as remote learning modules. More than 200 team members have already participated in the program and moving forward, it will be expanded across additional teams and included in new employee onboarding.
Beyond our educational program, our work in this area is driven by our Cultural Awareness Guidelines, which we update annually with new insights and reflections. In the last year, we formally established an internal council with team members that bring diverse perspectives and expertise to inform and advise on the guidelines, and ensure cultural awareness is integrated from concept design through to marketing campaigns. Our guidelines are distributed and reviewed with all teams that have a role in creating our products and brand image, including our design, advertising and marketing departments.
We have, and always will, strive to create and communicate with respect and will continue to educate our teams and celebrate the cultures and influences that inspire our brands.
Read our 2020 Global Citizenship &
and Standards Supplement
Our 2019 Global Citizenship & Sustainability Report and Supplement and relevant Global Citizenship & Sustainability policies are available here.