Ralph Lauren combines performance and durability in a new generation polo shirt

Ralph Lauren has chosen the Australian Open to present its latest innovation: a high-performance polo shirt made from natural materials. Thanks to a patented method, the American brand has succeeded in creating a polo shirt in natural fabric with similar performance to synthetic fabrics based on plastic, such as nylon, which are much more harmful to the environment.

While sustainability is gradually taking over the world of fashion and luxury, it has also made some inroads into the sports world in recent months. Here, we are talking about performance clothing with certain characteristics — such as breathability, quick drying, waterproofing, comfort — which are essential for both amateur and high-level athletes. It is therefore not surprising that the brand has chosen the Australian Open to unveil its new generation polo shirt, combining high performance and durability for the first time.

The Clarus RLX polo shirt differs from its predecessors by the introduction of a high-performance cotton-based material that is much less polluting. This is made possible by a new patented method developed by materials science start-up Natural Fiber Welding, Inc., which transforms virgin and recycled cotton into enhanced cotton fibers with high performance attributes. In other words, the material behaves like conventional plastic-based synthetic fabrics such as polyester and nylon, but without the harmful effects they have on the planet.

“Ralph Lauren is known for its timelessness – and for over 50 years, being timeless has meant both building on our heritage and fostering pioneering innovation. With the introduction of the RLX Clarus polo shirt, we are using our most iconic as the canvas to launch an evolutionary and revolutionary textile technology – a high-performance wearable product created for the first time with natural fibers.We are proud to build on the brand’s heritage of signature and authentic style, reinvented for the future,” said David Lauren, director of brand and innovation at Ralph Lauren.

This is not the first sustainable innovation from the American brand. In late March 2021, Ralph Lauren launched Color on Demand, the first wastewater-free cotton dyeing system, before moving into clothing rentals with its The Lauren Look subscription service. With these commitments, the brand intends to expand its use of sustainable materials, but also significantly reduce its waste.

Presented at the Australian Open, the Clarus RLX polo shirt will then be offered for sale worldwide, with new styles and colors, as well as women’s models.

Christine Pellissier

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