This April, iconic luxury brand Ralph Lauren have made a conscious decision to re-think the way they produce their fabrics. In an effort to be more environmentally progressive, the brand have teamed up with recycling company First Mile to launch a new range of the iconic polo shirt, #TheEarthPolo. The difference is – these polos are made from 100% recycled plastic bottles.
Nowadays, brands are rarely transparent about both where and how they source their materials. So, together with First Mile, Ralph Lauren have pledged to expose the exact process behind the production of their earth polo shirts, to honour Earth Day 2019. First Mile are a recycling company that have shipped nearly 200,000 pounds of plastic out of Haiti and Taiwan and have now turned their attention towards working with fashion brands. The goal is to increase environmental awareness and ultimately, to use waste in a productive way.
First Mile have now turned plastic bottles into usable fabric for the launch, but without compromising the luxury aspect to the products. On Ralph Lauren’s end, the brand have taken great care to preserve the quality and feel of the traditional polo shirt, whilst incorporating an eco-friendly approach to the manufacturing process.
How are the Earth Polo’s made?
Made in Taiwan, each shirt is fabricated using 12 plastic bottles sourced from within the nation, using a ‘waterless’ dyeing process. According to Ralph Lauren, they are ‘designed with mother nature in mind’, being released in the four colours you would see when looking at our planet from a distance. The colours are : Stuart Green, White, Baby Blue and Navy Blue. Each colour is achieved via a unique dyeing process that uses no water. The polo shirts retail at £95 for both men and women.
First Mile are named as such to reflect the so-called first mile of the fashion supply chain, i.e. where materials are sourced. They are committed to promoting production transparency and can even tell you the name of the individual who collected the bottles used to make your polo shirt. Now that’s what we call fashion forward.
Words: Maeve Campbell