Ralph Lauren Announces its Targets for Sustainable Fashion with “Design the Change”

Editorial TeamEditorial Team
November 8th, 2022

Design the Change focuses on three key areas where Ralph Lauren can create the greatest positive impact to hit its 2025 sustainability targets. 

Luxury fashion brand Ralph Lauren has made a serious commitment to sustainability. In its Global Citizenship & Sustainability Report, the company outlines its plans to make the luxury brand more sustainable with the "Design the Change" strategy. In addition to aiming to use 100% of "key" sustainably sourced materials by 2025, Ralph Lauren will also train its product, merchandising, and design teams in a circular way.

Design the Change is both a commitment and a journey to accelerate the company's work through citizenship and sustainability. It includes a new set of goals that bring clarity and focus to how Ralph Lauren will deliver the change required to create a better future. As part of its commitment, the company has also announced that it has joined the United Nations Global Impact (UNGC), joining other companies across industries to implement universal sustainability principles and take action to support the UN's goals.



In 2020, Ralph Lauren also reinvented its iconic polo shirt. Collaborating with Natural Fiber Welding, a company specializing in textile innovation in which Ralph Lauren has held a minority stake since August 2020, the fashion company made the RLX Clarus polo shirt, manufactured, with the first high-performance cotton fabric in the world. This is a 100% cotton fiber obtained from virgin and recycled cotton, which thanks to NFW's latest textile innovations, shows qualities as a high-performance fiber similar to those shown by other fibers such as polyester and nylon.

Expanding its use of recycled cotton, Ralph Lauren is advancing the Company's progress towards 100% sustainable sourcing of its key materials, including cotton, by 2025 and the integration of zero waste principles throughout its business. Its bedding sheets are certified Made in Green by OEKO TEX® and the brand’s goal to make five iconic products known as “icons” that are Cradle to Cradle Certified™ by 2025.



Design the Change - Focus Areas

Design the Change focuses on three areas where Ralph Lauren can create the greatest positive impact. These hone in on creating timeless style, protecting the environment and championing better lives. Its foundation includes 16 ambitious goals that will guide the company's work in each of these areas including achieving 100% of key sustainably sourced materials, including cotton, by 2025, empowering design and product development teams, as well as commercial teams, toward more responsible, circular, inclusive and culturally annualized design by 2020.

In addition, Ralph Lauren has outlined greenhouse gas reduction targets and 100% renewable energy targets. It also strives to achieve gender parity with equal representation in leadership positions - at the Vice President level - by 2023, it wishes to increase female representation in factory management by 25% by 2025.

The company's most significant achievements last year were, for example, the launch of the Earth Polo, a reimagining of the iconic polo shirt made from an innovative fabric produced entirely from plastic bottles. The creation of Earth Polo is part of the company's commitment to recycling 170 million bottles by 2025. Each polo shirt is made from approximately 12 plastic bottles, which might otherwise have ended up in oceans or landfills, and uses a completely waterless dyeing process.



The company also donated more than 14,000 hours of time and talent to nonprofit organizations through Ralph Lauren Gives Back. The company also launched its Ralph Lauren Gives Back weeks, during which company teams volunteered with 80 organizations. Employees also participated in 64 fundraising walks for life-threatening diseases such as cancer and AIDS.

Another goal was for the company to achieve a global workforce gender balance of 64% women. Women currently hold 53% of positions at and above the Senior Director level. The company has also launched the "Lead Like a Woman" campaign, a platform that aims to close the leadership gap between women and men, and includes media, products, and events that celebrate women leaders and support the NGO Women in Film.