Ralph Lauren Makes Minority Investment In Natural Fiber Welding – Quick Facts
Luxury fashion house Ralph Lauren Corp. (RL) said it has made a minority investment in Natural Fiber Welding, Inc., a sustainable material science startup.
Ralph Lauren noted that recycled cotton is often unsuitable for use in new cotton apparel due to the short fibers created during recycling.
Founded in 2015, Illinois-based Natual Fiber Welding or NFW has developed technology that welds short fibers into longer fibers to create high-performance cotton yarns which can incorporate cotton and other plant-based waste fibers.
According to Ralph Lauren, this patented process creates an opportunity to reuse post-consumer cotton waste and impart performance characteristics into the fiber. The resulting upcycled material outperforms synthetic fabrics, while it retains the comfortable feel of cotton.
As a part of its investment, Ralph Lauren will help scale NFW’s patented process and develop first-of-its-kind performance apparel made from natural, sustainable materials.
Ralph Lauren expects the investment will enable it to expand its use of recycled post-consumer cotton, helping to advance its progress toward sourcing 100 percent of its key materials, including cotton, by 2025 and integrating zero-waste principles across its business.
Over time, the company anticipates the partnership will help it to replace and reduce its reliance on non-biodegradable synthetics, such as polyester and nylon, while scaling the use of more sustainable and upcycled materials.
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