Reduction of its environmental footprint and sustainable sourcing are two areas of focus on Ralph Laurens newly updated sustainability strategy

Reduction of its environmental footprint and sustainable sourcing are two areas of focus on Ralph Lauren's newly updated sustainability strategy

US clothing and footwear company Ralph Lauren has committed to using 100% sustainably sourced key materials – including cotton – in its products by 2025, as part of a new set of sustainability goals.

Ralph Lauren's 'Design the Change' strategy features a set of goals that "bring clarity and focus" to how Ralph Lauren plans to deliver on sustainable change. As part of the commitment the group has announced it has signed onto the UN Global Compact, a multi-year initiative to drive business awareness and action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

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 goals that will guide the company's work across each of these areas. 

One of the goals is for it to achieve 100% sustainably-sourced key materials – including cotton – by 2025. In April the company launched a new polo shirt made from recycled plastic bottles and dyed with a waterless process as it pledged to remove 170m plastic bottles from landfills and oceans by 2025.

Other goals include: 

  • Training 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.

"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 at Ralph Lauren Corp.

"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."