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Ralph Lauren introduces cashmere recycling programme

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Image: Ralph Lauren; Cradle to Cradle Certified Gold cashmere sweater

Ralph Lauren has unveiled its first Cradle to Cradle Certified Gold cashmere sweater alongside the news it is launching a cashmere recycling programme in North America, the UK, and Europe.

The cashmere sweater has been designed “to be worn, loved and live on responsibly for generations to come,” explains Ralph Lauren in the press release, and will be available in men’s Purple Label and women’s Collection brands.

The sweater is woven from fine cashmere fibres, dyed in rich hues and features a label cut from organic cotton. The Cradle to Cradle Certified Gold Cashmere Sweater was analysed through a multi-step certification process with the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, a non-profit that has set the global standard for products that are safe, circular and made responsibly.

The certification is based on a product's performance across five critical areas of sustainability: material health, product circularity, clean air and climate protection, water and soil stewardship, and social fairness.

The Cradle to Cradle Certified Gold crewneck sweater, priced at 995 US dollars, will replace the original icon, adds Ralph Lauren, and the certification will be expanded to include additional cashmere styles. It marks the first of five signature Ralph Lauren “icons” that the company has committed to have Cradle to Cradle Certified by 2025.

Ralph Lauren unveils first Cradle to Cradle Certified Gold cashmere sweater

Katie Ioanilli, chief global impact and communications officer at Ralph Lauren, said in a statement: “The kind of luxury we stand for at Ralph Lauren has always been about timelessness, authenticity and a life well-lived. Today more than ever, we believe true luxury encompasses not only a product’s beauty and quality, but how it was made and how it will endure.

“That’s why we’ve created the industry’s first-ever Cradle to Cradle Certified luxury cashmere product, with plans to deliver four more verified icons by 2025.”

As part of the Cradle to Cradle certification process, Ralph Lauren added that it is launching a cashmere recycling programme for 100 percent cashmere in partnership with Re-Verso, a leading textile production company that bridges science and technology to create a circular economy manufacturing system for high-quality wool and cashmere.

The programme will be initially available in North America and Europe, and will allow consumers to ship their 100 percent cashmere items, from any brand, to Re-Verso in Prato, Italy to be recycled.

The move is part of Ralph Lauren’s commitment to sustainability through its ‘Timeless by Design’ philosophy to ensure its products are re-used across generations. As part of this, Ralph Lauren has also set a goal to implement circular principles into its design and development process by 2025, and build on these commitments by enabling its past and future products to live on responsibly by 2030.

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