As we slowly roll past the ides of April, and while the world comes together to combat a pandemic, two truths from the before times remain evident: that we need to do a better job taking care of Mother Earth, and that our impulse to treat ourselves by buying clothes knows no bounds.
Luckily, though, Earth Day 2020 presents an opportunity to do both, as Ralph Lauren has brought back its Earth Polo shirt in a big way.
Just over a year ago, Ralph Lauren introduced the shirt—made entirely from plastic water bottles, and offered in a small selection of colors. Now, in celebration of Earth Day 2020, the polo-shirt gods have returned, blessing us with a new array of colors, plus long-sleeved options and summer-ready prints.
A little insight into how this shirt is made, and how it helps, courtesy of our own Nick Sullivan.
The effort works in conjunction with First Mile, a program that incentivizes local people on the poverty line in Taiwan to collect and turn in the bottles. An average of 12 bottles are needed to produce the yarn for one polo shirt. The plastic is first flaked, then melted into pellets before extruding it into monofilaments and then spinning and knitting. Even the dyeing process, traditionally hugely wasteful of water, has been rethought to use no water at all. The company plans to remove 170 million bottles from the environment by 2025.
The Earth Polo is part of an ever-expanding world of sustainable style. Fashion’s participation in efforts like these is no longer an exception, but a rule. Luckily, RL’s dedication to creating clothing that is timeless and can be passed down through generations put the brand a step ahead already, and the polo shirt is the brand’s shining example. Never out of style, accepted everywhere, and a little cooler with every wear, it’s a garment that’s sustainable in and of itself.
Now, with the Earth Polo, that inherent sustainability increases mightily—without sacrificing a single inch of style.
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