Ralph Lauren announces new sustainable luxury goals



Luxury Fashion brand Ralph Lauren has made a serious commitment toward sustainability. In their 2019 Global Citizenship & Sustainability Report, Ralph Lauren outlined their plans to make the label more sustainable, with the Design for Change strategy. As well as aiming to use 100 per cent of sustainably-sourced ‘key’ materials by 2025, they will also train their product, merchandising and design teams on circular fashion. But there is more...

The strategy, Design the Change, is both a commitment and a journey to accelerate the Company’s work across citizenship and sustainability and 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 also announced it has signed onto the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), joining other companies across industries to implement universal sustainability principles and to take steps to support UN goals.


“When Ralph founded our company more than 50 years ago, he did so with the conviction that whatever we create is meant to be worn, loved and passed on for generations,” says Patrice Louvet, CEO and President, Ralph Lauren Corporation. “This philosophy is deeply embedded in our culture, our brands and our Purpose–to inspire the dream of a better life through authenticity and timeless style. It also inspires Design the Change, a strategy that will accelerate our efforts to create a positive impact in society and a more sustainable future.”




Design the Change is focused on three areas where Ralph Lauren can create the greatest positive impact: Creating Timeless Style, Protecting the Environment, and Championing Better Lives. Its foundation is 16 ambitious goals that will guide the Company’s work across each of these areas. Achieve 100% sustainably-sourced key materials – including cotton – by 2025; Train design, product development and merchant teams on sustainable, circular, inclusive and culturally-aware design annually by 2020; Set science-based greenhouse gas reduction targets by 2020 and 100% renewable energy targets by the end of 2019; Achieve gender parity with equal representation in leadership positions at the Vice President level and above by 2023; Increase female representation in factory management by 25% by 2025.

Significant company achievements from the past year are, for instant, the Earth Polo, a reimagination of the iconic Polo shirt crafted from an innovative fabric produced entirely from plastic bottles. The creation of the Earth Polo is part of the company’s commitment to recycle 170 million bottles by 2025. Each Polo is made from approximately 12 plastic bottles – which may have otherwise 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 non-profit organizations through Ralph Lauren Gives Back. The company also hosted three Ralph Lauren Gives Back weeks, during which company teams volunteered with 80 organizations. Employees also took part in 64 fundraising walks for life-threatening illnesses such as cancer and AIDS.

Other goal was that the company achieved a global workforce gender balance of 64% female, with women holding 53% of positions at and above the Senior Director level; and launched the “Lead Like a Woman” campaign, a platform which aims to close the leadership gap between women and men, and includes media, products and events celebrating female leaders and providing support for the NGO Women in Film.

+ Image Header: © Mei-Ling Mirow via Unsplash

+ info: Design the Change Report