Ralph Lauren is investing in sustainable material sciences. The global fashion brand has announced a minority investment in Natural Fiber Welding, Inc. (NFW), a startup company that has revolutionized the reuse of natural fibers. The investment will help NFW scale its patented process to develop performance apparel made from natural, sustainable materials.
NFW was founded in 2015 to help make recycled cotton more suitable for reuse. The company's innovative process welds short fibers of recycled cotton into longer fibers that can create high-performance cotton yarns, incorporating other plant-based waste fibers. NFW's upcycled material can outperform synthetic fabrics and retains the comfortable feel of cotton.
“Today, sustainability is an area where this is especially important, and investing with partners to scale innovative solutions is a key part of our sustainability strategy," David Lauren, Ralph Lauren's vice chairman and chief innovation officer, said in a press release. "We are excited to support the work of NFW, a pioneer in this field. Their technology has the power to not only advance our work at Ralph Lauren, but effect positive change across the entire industry.”
Through its investment with NFW, Ralph Lauren will expand its use of post-consumer cotton. The brand aims to source 100 percent of its key materials from recycled practices.