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June 28, 2022

Ralph Lauren deepens commitment to transparency in new report

Ralph Lauren's Global Citizenship and Sustainability Report explains how the Corporation plans to increase transparency about how and where the brand operates.

By Fi Forrest

The new Ralph Lauren 2022 Global Citizenship and Sustainability Report explains how the Corporation divides its supply chain into tiers, to assist its Business, Quality Assurance and Citizenship and Sustainability teams increase transparency about how and where the brand operates.

Tier 1: Covers finished good suppliers and value-adding processes such as washing, embroidery and printing
Tier 2: Material production (mills — weaving, knitting and value-adding processes such as dyeing, washing, embroidery and printing)
Tier 3: Raw material processing (spinning — yarn production)
Tier 4: Raw material source/feedstock production (farms, ginning, forestry, extraction)

In FY22, the brand says it worked with 425 active Tier 1 factories across 38 countries to manufacture its products, and last year took the step to disclose additional details about its supply chain partners such as its parent company, type of product or services, total number of workers and gender breakdown on the Open Apparel Registry platform, as well as on the Ralph Lauren corporate website. 

The company also publishes its Tier 1 value-adding processing units such as washing, embroidery and printing facilities with their name, location of the facility and parent company. The disclosures include approximately 98% of the firm’s business purchase volume and 85% of Finished Goods factories, and 71% of our active processing units for finished goods factories. 

Ralph Lauren says it will continue to build on its commitment to transparency based on the in-progress Transparency and Traceability Road Map and future disclosures are to include Tier 2 factories and their value-adding processing units.

The report also contains targeted goals such as investing to scale regenerative practices and innovative technologies by 2025 and extending the life of its products by piloting ways for its consumers to rent, repair and recirculate Ralph Lauren products by 2025.

Additional progress shared includes:

  • Announcing the formalisation of a Design with Intent department responsible for culturally sustainable design, product development and brand storytelling; 
  • Donating more than US$2.5m in scholarship funds from the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation to institutions focused on providing equitable access to higher education; 
  • Strengthening its efforts to elevate factory workers and worker life skills training, from providing evolved personal health and digital learning programs to supervisory and leadership training; 
  • Announcing that its iconic cashmere sweater will be the first-of-its-kind luxury Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Certified product, available to consumers later this year; 
  • Launching a comprehensive disability equity strategy focused on six key pillars, including integrating accessible design practices into its product offerings, building on the company’s Valuable 500 pledge to add disability awareness to its Board’s DE&I agenda.

“Ralph’s embrace of timelessness has kept our designs and, ultimately, our business resilient and relevant for more than 50 years,” says Patrice Louvet, president and chief executive officer, Ralph Lauren Corporation. “Embedding this philosophy across our entire value chain is a natural and critical extension of Ralph’s vision as we work to address our impacts beyond the beautiful products and experiences we create.” 

The full 2022 Report and ESG Supplement are available for download on the company’s website. 

In May, Ralph Lauren Corporation moved to a profit for the full year, with Fiscal 2022 revenues of US$6.22bn exceeding Fiscal 2020 pre-pandemic levels.

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