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Ralph Lauren Pledges to Replace Virgin Polyester with Recycled by 2025

Ralph Lauren is phasing out virgin polyester fiber, and it’s beginning with its signature polo shirt.

Launched last week, the aptly named Earth Polo consists of yarn derived entirely from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles and dyed through a process that uses zero water.

Ralph Lauren says it will remove at least 170 million plastic bottles from landfills and oceans as part of a pledge to replace all virgin polyester fiber in its assortment with recycled alternatives by 2025.

“Plastic waste is a major issue threatening the environment,” David Lauren, the brand’s chief innovation officer, said in a statement. “We want to be part of the solution and utilize an innovative approach to create something valuable.”

The Earth Polo was produced in collaboration with First Mile, a London-based social enterprise that partners with low-income communities to collect plastic bottles for processing into high-quality yarn and textiles. Each shirt comprises the equivalent of 12 plastic bottles.

“When Ralph [Lauren] founded our company more than 50 years ago, he did so with the idea that whatever we create is meant to be worn, loved, and passed on for generations,” said Halide Alagoz, executive vice president, chief supply chain and sustainability officer. “It’s with this spirit of timelessness that we approach sustainability.”

Available in stores and online at, the Earth Polo is available in four colorways: Stuart green, white, navy and baby blue. Both men’s and women’s versions retail for $89.50.

Ralph Lauren’s pledge to outlaw virgin plastic follows similar pronouncements by Adidas, which plans to use only 100 percent recycled polyester in its products by 2024, and Everlane, which vows to do the same by 2021.