In recognition of Earth Day, the storied American fashion house has developed a new iteration of its iconic Polo shirt, called the Earth Polo. Each of the shirts is made from a polyester spun from recycled plastic bottles and dyed with a process that uses zero water. (For those concerned that a polyester shirt might feel scratchy or uncomfortable, rest assured: We at Robb Report have tried one, and they’re almost as soft as the pique cotton the brand’s other customers may be more used to wearing.) But the shirts aren’t a one-time sustainability stunt. They also mark the company’s commitment to continue upcycling plastics well into the future.
“Ralph Lauren will commit to removing at least 170 million bottles from landfills and oceans by 2025,” said David Lauren, son of Ralph Lauren and now chief innovation officer of the company, in a statement. “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.”
While there is certainly no shortage of clothing companies dedicated to limiting or eliminating their contribution to global pollution, bigger players entering the realm of sustainable clothing is always a good thing. Like Levi’s, which has for the past few years been experimenting with waterless dyeing technology, Ralph Lauren has the kind of scale and reach that spreads the gospel of eco-friendly clothing to a bigger audience, and more sustainable practices along its supply chain will likely have a deep impact.
“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,” said Halide Algaoz, Ralph Lauren’s chief supply chain and sustainability officer. “It’s with this spirit of timelessness that we approach sustainability.”
Both the men’s and women’s polos will retail for $89.50, and both versions come in white, blue, green and black. And it goes without saying that the best way to support Ralph Lauren’s sustainability mission is to buy one of these shirts. You can do just that here.