Innovation

“You don’t stay around for so many years if you have nothing new to say.”

Starting with a wide tie that revolutionized the fashion industry, Ralph Lauren has built an over 50-year legacy by taking risks and always looking beyond what is in style. Our brands are timeless at their core, and our consumers know we are not simply dressing them for this season — we are serving them for their lives and lifestyles.

With this uncompromising spirit of innovation, we always endeavor to dream big when it comes to our designs and the ways we bring the World of Ralph Lauren to life. Each new look and every new dream is our opportunity to pioneer new ways to produce more responsibly and accelerate our commitments to sustainability as well as deliver an enhanced and more seamless connected retail experience for our consumers.


Product Innovation

Accelerating and Scaling Sustainability


Color on Demand

Color on Demand

Color on Demand is a revolutionary dyeing platform that transforms how the fashion industry colors cotton – more sustainably, more effectively and faster than ever before.

Designed to help address water scarcity and pollution caused by cotton dyeing, Color on Demand is a multi-phased system with a clear ambition to deliver the world’s first scalable zero wastewater cotton dyeing system, enabling the recycling and reuse of all water from the dyeing process.

For the first time in the industry, Color on Demand also provides a more efficient and sustainable way to color cotton at any point in product manufacturing, rather than at the outset, enabling significantly shorter lead times for making product color decisions. By 2025, we aim to use the Color on Demand platform in more than 80% of our solid cotton products.

Material Innovation

As part of our commitment to a more sustainable future, Ralph Lauren invested in Natural Fiber Welding, a leading material science startup that is revolutionizing the reuse of natural fibers, such as cotton waste, into patented, high-performance materials. This investment enables Ralph Lauren to develop first-of-its-kind apparel made from recycled, plant-based materials as well as create and scale a new industry standard for natural fiber recycling, including a more circular economy for cotton.

Recycled cotton is often unsuitable for use in new cotton apparel due to the short fibers created during recycling. Founded in 2015, NFW has solved this challenge with an innovative process that welds short fibers into longer fibers to create high-performance cotton yarns which can incorporate cotton and other plant-based waste fibers. This patented process transforms these materials in ways that were never possible before, creating an opportunity to reuse post-consumer cotton waste and impart performance characteristics into the fiber. The resulting upcycled material outperforms synthetic fabrics while still retaining the comfortable feel of cotton.

Through this investment, Ralph Lauren is expanding its use of recycled post-consumer cotton, helping to advance the Company’s progress toward sourcing 100 percent of its key materials, including cotton, by 2025 and integrating zero-waste principles across its business. Over time, the partnership will enable Ralph Lauren to replace and reduce its reliance on synthetics, such as polyester and nylon, while scaling the use of recycled materials.

The Earth Polo

As a reimagination of the iconic Polo shirt, the Earth Polo is crafted from thread derived entirely from recycled plastic bottles and dyed in an innovative process that uses zero water. Each Earth Polo is made from an average of 12 plastic bottles and marked the start of our commitment to divert 170 million plastic bottles from landfills and oceans by 2025 – bottles that will be converted into high-quality thread.

The Earth Polo was produced in partnership with First Mile, an organization with a global mission focused on sustainability and positive social impact. First Mile works with entrepreneurs in low-income communities to collect recyclable plastic bottles, which are then processed through a unique and eco-friendly manufacturing program and turned into high-quality yarn and ultimately fabric.

At Ralph Lauren, we recognize our products have an impact on the environment and that we have a responsibility to minimize our footprint by making sustainability a core part of how we do business. One small step on this journey is our commitment to replace all poly-fibers in our products with recycled poly-fibers by 2025.

Manufacturing on Demand

Manufacturing on Demand

As traditional manufacturing processes give way to new technologies, we are continually exploring new platforms and technologies to add to our pipeline of solutions for on-demand manufacturing.

In 2018, we launched a digital-first, on-demand customization experience, anchored by the Create Your Own Custom Crewneck Sweater, that gives consumers the opportunity to co-create a one-of-a-kind, personalized piece, knit to order and shipped within two weeks.

In 2020, we expanded this Create Your Own (CYO) program to outerwear with the custom packable jacket. Crafted from recycled fabrics and down-alternative insulation, our new outerwear program gives customers the opportunity to create a personalized jacket. This CYO experience represents the next phase of on-demand manufacturing as it nearly automates all the steps between concept and production by sending actionable product data directly to the factory at the point of design.

With these innovative programs, Ralph Lauren is exploring the world of on-demand manufacturing, a model with both immediate and future benefits. These range from reducing product inventory, material waste and eliminating the need for markdowns to allowing for greater agility and rapid fulfillment of high-quality products that meet our consumers’ desires and tastes.


Digital Innovation

Delivering A Connected Retail Experience


RL Virtual Stores

Launched in 2020, the virtual store experiences allow consumers to step into the world of Ralph Lauren’s iconic flagship stores around the world – from New York and Beverly Hills to Paris and Hong Kong.

With the same level of attention to detail and care that has come to define Ralph Lauren’s in-person shopping visits, the virtual store experience features the newest collections, along with antique and vintage offerings, all shoppable from the comfort of home. Private shopping appointments with in-store brand specialists – either digitally or in person—are also available online for styling consultations, shopping advice or a personal walk-through of the latest collections from the World of Ralph Lauren.

Take a virtual tour of our iconic stores: RL Virtual Experience

Ralph Lauren x Bitmoji

In 2020, we joined forces with Snap Inc. to create the first-ever customizable and branded wardrobe for Bitmoji. Designed to break barriers within the digital fashion landscape, the collaboration offers virtual branded apparel inspired by real Ralph Lauren looks and shoppable styles to match personal Bitmojis.

Created through the eyes of the Ralph Lauren design team and treated as an extension of the physical collection, the digital wardrobe includes iconic Polo Ralph Lauren pieces, such as the classic double-breasted blazers, a branded racer jacket, a striped rugby shirt and a vibrant track jacket. Bitmoji users wearing the Ralph Lauren looks can also see the designs on their Bitmoji in a variety of digital experiences on and off Snapchat, including Chat, games, on the Snap Map and in personalized content like Bitmoji Stories, as well as shop the outfits through the Ralph Lauren website and select Ralph Lauren retail stores.

Digital Product Identities

In 2019, we began rolling out Digital Product Identities (IDs) for all of our products, starting with the Polo brand, as a way to power product authentication, further digitize our supply chain operations and deliver an enhanced consumer experience.

By scanning the Digital Product ID on the product label with a smartphone, consumers can confirm whether their purchase is authentically Ralph Lauren, learn about the product detail and receive styling tips and recommendations. Across our supply chain, the use of Digital Product IDs has also helped us gain unprecedented, real-time visibility to track product from the point of manufacture and having this depth of insights has helped drive numerous efficiencies around orders and inventory management.

This mass-scale product digitization is a first for our industry, and we’ve hosted the program on an agile platform so that as it scales, we can continually explore and enable new features – from supporting track and traceability and a circular lifecycle through reuse, resale and recycling to providing a more personalized consumer experience.