Ralph Lauren’s New Polo is Made Entirely from Plastic Bottles

Sustainability |  2 min. read

“Something old, something new, something green or white or blue.”

What is it?  Ok, there’s probably more than one answer to that – but the answer we’re thinking of – is the new Earth Polo.

(photo from Ralph Lauren)

That’s the new shirt from Ralph Lauren – which comes in white or green or two shades of blue (baby or navy).  Your new Earth Polo shirt is made entirely from old plastic bottles (about 12 of them).  But when that plastic is turned into yarn, it makes a soft, comfortable, moisture-wicking shirt (Ralph Lauren says that even some of the Polo team couldn’t tell which was the old fabric, and which was the new, made-from-plastics).

You can even recycle the shirt, when that time has come (though since RL makes a pretty good shirt, that time shouldn’t come for some time).  The company has committed to (re)using 170 million plastic bottles for its clothing, by the year 2025.

The plastic for these shirts, incidentally, comes through the First Mile initiative, which “captures” plastic, removing it from the trash and recycling it (while ensuring that the men and women who do the work are paid a living wage).  Call it PET* to Polo.  Polo, you know – PET, is the plastic used to make water bottles – and in turn, that plastic is made from the petrochemicals ethylene and xylene (which are produced from petroleum and natural gas).

If you’re wondering about the choice of colors, by the way, Ralph Lauren says that when you look at the Earth from space, those are the four colors you can see.  And in an added touch of “green”, Earth Polo is using a process that doesn’t use any water to apply its dyes.

You can see for yourself what the finished product looks like, in a store, of course – or by clicking over to  Earth Polo.


*“PET” being polyethylene terephthalate, so you can see why they shortened it.


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