Behind Ralph Lauren’s Indigenous Artist Fellowship, New Green Lines – WWD

Ralph Lauren’s corporate program is peppered with numerous social and environmental goals, as its latest report shows. And all of the encompassing elements are part of the larger corporate vision.

“Integrating this philosophy across our entire value chain is a natural and essential extension of Ralph’s vision as we work to address our impacts beyond the beautiful products and experiences we create,” Ralph Lauren President and CEO Patrice Louvet said in an accompanying statement. Press statement.

Between the launch of an artist-in-residence program for Indigenous artists, the reveal of the first in a series of “iconic” Cradle to Cradle or C2C-certified products, as well as the allocation of a dedicated cotton fund regenerative, Ralph Lauren looked after.

The Artist-in-Residence program gives priority to artists who “preserve traditional and evolving Aboriginal craftsmanship.” The program aims to expand their platforms within the art, design, fashion and craft industries. Each artist’s tenure depends on their scope and availability, ranging from six to 18 months with potential for a permanent role with the company in the future. Participants will work remotely, but will visit Ralph Lauren’s New York headquarters with the possibility of on-site creative collaborations.

“Each performer’s program may look different as our goal is to tailor their experience based on their desires and goals,” a company spokesperson said. “As we launch the program, we are working with partners like Creative Futures Collective to identify applicants. Going forward, we aim to empower our newly formed External Advisory Board to help identify candidate Artists in Residence.

Regenerative agriculture is also getting the attention it deserves.

Last year, the company awarded an inaugural $5 million grant through the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation to create the US Regenerative Cotton Fund, or USRCF, supporting long-term sustainable cotton production in the States. -United. The program aims to remove 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent from the atmosphere by 2026. Cotton accounts for more than 80% of Ralph Lauren Corp.’s total material use, and the USRCF initiative supports the company’s recent investments in materials and dyeing processes.

For its circular design initiative, consumers can expect to see the brand’s first C2C-certified cashmere sweater later this year. Specifically, the launch is for the men’s “Purple-label” and women’s “Luxury Collection” cashmere crewneck sweater. The drop ushers in the company’s sustainability goal of rolling out five signature C2C-certified styles over the next three years, or by 2025.

Two more C2C-certified product launches are planned for later this year.

Ralph Lauren said it will step up efforts to map its supply chain to enable visibility of the origins of materials at every stage of the textile and apparel supply chain. Since product traceability is another piece of the larger supply chain picture, the company also provided an update on its partnership with technology companies Evrythng and Avery Dennison. The partnership began in 2019 and was to involve the digital mapping of Ralph Lauren’s entire product catalog. At the time, the volume of products amounted to just under 200 million items, which is no small feat.

“To date, we have integrated more than 200 factories into the [Digital Product Identification system, or DPIDs] program, and as a result, the majority of our wearable products now have DPIDs, and we expect every product to have a digital ID by 2024,” a spokesperson said.

As with other industry heavyweights, Ralph Lauren took an early stance on the whistleblowing of PFAs or “forever chemicals,” which face regulatory crackdown because clothing is seen as a source of lingering toxins. . The company has pledged to rid its operations (those with water-repellent functionality) of PFAs and said it is on track to do so by the end of fiscal year 2022.

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