Ralph Lauren’s new cashmere recycling programme aims to reduce waste in fashion

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The new program stems from the release of the brand’s Cradle to Cradle Certified Gold Cashmere Sweater 

Ralph Lauren is kickstarting the year with a new eco-conscious initiative.  

The luxury American label launched its Cashmere Recycling Programme this week, exclusively in North America and Europe. Created in partnership with Re-Verso, a leading textile production company, the program allows you to ship your 100-per cent cashmere items—from any brand—to Re-Verso headquarters in Prato, Italy. From there, the textile company that produces high-quality wool and cashmere will recycle your pre-loved knits for future use. 

News of the program stems from the release of the brand’s Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Certified Gold Cashmere Sweater. The luxury knit is woven from fine cashmere fibres and dyed in rich hues such as blue, yellow and cream among others. The new C2C sweater is quite the antithesis of fast fashion, as it’s “made to be worn, loved and live on responsibly for generations to come,” Ralph Lauren claims in a statement.

Available in men’s Purple Label and women’s collection varieties, the luxe knit is the first of five products the label aims to have “C2C Certified” by 2025. This simply implies that your new knit is analysed through a multi-step certification process with the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, a non-profit known advocating the “circular economy.” So instead of old economic models where materials were sourced, turned into products and then eventually become waste, the circular economy encourages materials to be recycled to cut down on extraction of natural resources on the front end and waste on the back end.   

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Blue and yellow variations of the C2C Certified Gold Cashmere Sweater in Ralph Lauren’s Purple Label

Ralph Lauren’s new C2C Certified Gold crewneck sweater will replace the brand’s original crewneck knit. The certification process will also be expanded to include other cashmere styles down the line. 

“The kind of luxury we stand for at Ralph Lauren has always been about timelessness, authenticity and a life well-lived,” Katie Ioanilli, Ralph Lauren’s Chief Global Impact Officer says said in a statement. “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.” 

The launch of Ralph Lauren’s C2C Certified Gold Cashmere Sweater and Cashmere Recycling Programme falls in line with the brand’s Timeless by Design initiative that functions as the brand’s formerly existing approach to global citizenship and sustainability via timeless product releases that can be used and reused across generations. In addition to its new circular goals over the next three years, Ralph Lauren’s Live On Promise commitments aim to build on the label’s circular strategy by ensuring its past and future products live on responsibly up to 2030.  

You can now buy the new US$995 C2C Certified Gold Cashmere Sweater and learn more details about the Cashmere Recycling Programme over on the Ralph Lauren website. 

This article was first published on Robb Report USA