Ralph Lauren, the official outfitter of the Australian Open, launches the RLX CLARUS® Polo Shirt, showcasing the brand’s commitment to developing a circular apparel economy.
“Ralph Lauren is known for timelessness – and for more than 50 years being timeless has meant both leaning into our heritage and fostering pioneering innovation. With the introduction of the RLX CLARUS® Polo Shirt, we are using our most iconic product as a canvas to launch an industry-changing and scalable textile technology –a high-performance apparel product that is created with natural fibers for the first time. We’re proud to build on the brand’s legacy of signature and authentic style, reinvented for the future,” said David Lauren, Chief Branding and Innovation Officer.
According to the release, RLX CLARUS® Polo Shirt “utilizes a first-to-market patented platform to transform virgin and recycled cotton in ways that were never before possible. The technology creates enhanced cotton fibers with high-performance attributes, like quick-drying and moisture management, while still retaining the comfort and breathability of cotton. The resulting material performs similarly to plastic-based synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon, that use petroleum-based fossil fuels to achieve performance benefits. The textile innovation was developed by Natural Fiber Welding, Inc. (NFW), a leading sustainable material science startup.”
“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Ralph Lauren. Through this collaboration, we are paving the way for complete circularity with resulting materials that perform similarly to plastic-based synthetic fabrics,” said Luke Haverhals, CEO at NFW.
“We are pioneering an entirely new system that simultaneously enables all-natural performance fabrics while reducing waste and eliminating the need for synthetic plastics.”
In August 2020, Ralph Lauren invested in NFW, a material science company that manufactures sustainable products from plants.
The brand’s work with NFW allowed them to “scale their patented process and develop first-of-its-kind performance apparel made from natural, sustainable materials.”
Eventually, the partnership will allow Ralph Lauren to steer away from non-biodegradable synthetics, including polyester and nylon, and replace them with more sustainable materials.
The release divulges, “Recently-launched initiatives include: Color on Demand, a revolutionary dyeing platform that transforms how the fashion industry colors cotton; The Lauren Look, the Company’s first subscription apparel rental initiative that has the potential to reduce clothing waste by expanding the lifespan of apparel The Earth Polo, crafted from thread derived entirely from recycled plastic bottles and dyed in an innovative process that uses zero water; and a continued focus on expanding the Company’s Manufacturing-on-Demand model through the Create-Your-Own (CYO) program.”
As we kick off 2022, we should all follow in Ralph Lauren’s footsteps. Let’s all commit to being environmentally responsible, and staying fit while we do so!
Photography by: Courtesy Ralph Lauren