Ralph Lauren launches a polo made entirely from recycled plastic bottles – Style


Earth, meet Polo.

Polo Ralph Lauren launched Thursday a version of its iconic polo, made entirely of recycled plastic bottles and tinted using a process using zero water.

David Lauren, the youngest son of the company's founder and director of innovation, told The Associated Press before the announcement that the new jersey was part of a broader strategy aimed at meeting new environmental goals throughout of the manufacturing process.

"Every day we learn what has happened to global warming and what is happening around the world. Our employees and customers really feel it's time to take action and make a difference, "said Lauren.

Polo is not the first of its kind. Small brands around the world use recycled and reused materials. In announcing Earth Polo, Ralph Lauren is committed to removing at least 170 million bottles from landfills and oceans by 2025. The shirts are made in Taiwan, where the bottles are salvaged . Each uses an average of 12 bottles.

The shirts are produced in partnership with First Mile, an organization that collects bottles made from yarn and, ultimately, fabric. The new fibers will also be used for existing performance garments already made of polyfibers, which are popular for their ability to evacuate moisture.

The Polo Earth went on sale Thursday, before Earth Day, at RalphLauren.com and in stores around the world. It comes in styles for men and women in green, white, navy and light blue. The shirts are not more expensive than the other polos.

Ralph Lauren has taken environmental initiatives over the years, but he has put in place a larger strategy to change both his corporate culture and his thinking about the clothes he produces. Halide Alagoz, the new Supply Chain and Sustainability Manager, announced more details in June.

"At the moment, we are updating our approach and framework for sustainable development," she said.

Other societal goals include the use of 100% sustainable cotton by 2025 and 100% recyclable or sustainably sourced packaging materials in the same year.

Other powers of fashion are also becoming more aggressive on the environment.

At the end of last year, Burberry and H & M were among the fashion stakeholders who subscribed to the Fashion Industry Charter on Climate Action, launched at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change. climate change, COP24, in Poland. The charter contains a vision to achieve zero net emissions by 2050. Ralph Lauren is not a signatory, but explores the call to action.

In the case of Earth Polo, the oceans are threatened by billions of tiny microfibres of plastic and non-plastic plastic coated with chemicals that run washing machines in sewers, thus putting the fish more at risk. small and other marine species. According to Alagoz, Ralph Lauren works with experts who say that the impact of converting a recycled microfiber plastic bottle is "much less than the bottle in the ocean".

The more general question of the biodegradability of these fibers remains unresolved. For Polo Earth, the story is about recycling and reuse, Lauren said.

"There are so many things in the world that are not good for the environment. Whatever material we can turn into threads, we will start looking at other opportunities, "he said. "Right now, we are trying to make sure that what we produce is as good as possible for the environment, or at least it helps to solve another problem. Are we creating a new problem? I think we create solutions, or at least try to find solutions. "

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