Ralph Lauren Corporation has announced an investment in a leading sustainable material science startup Natural Fiber Welding, Inc. (NFW) that has revolutionized the reuse of natural fibers. As part of the investment, Ralph Lauren will help scale the NFW patent process made from natural and sustainable materials and develop the first-of-its-kind natural performance apparel.
NFW founder and CEO Lack Haverhals said the association with the Ralph Lauren brand provided a significant boost for the startups that started in 2015.
“This is obviously a huge validity point that the technology is meaningful”, said Haverahals, “Not only are they validator, but they are also working with NFW because they will simultaneously use technology to create better and better products for humans on the planet.”
According to David Lauren, Vice Chairman & Chief Innovation Officer at Ralph Lauren, “We have evolved and developed our business for over 50 years as we constantly push ourselves to think openly and differently about how to approach challenges.”
“Today, sustainability is an area where it is particularly important and investing to scale innovative solutions with partners is a key part of our sustainable strategy we are encouraged to support the work of a pioneer NFW in this regard. Their technology not only enables Ralph Lauren to move our work forward but also positively impacts change across the industry,” David added.
Reusable cotton is often unsuitable for use in new cotton clothing due to the small fibers created during reuse. NFW’s process to create high-performance cotton yarns that can bind cotton and other plant-based waste fibers weld shorter fibers to longer ones. The encouraging ingredient of the result is an attempt to improve the ability of cotton to outperform synthetic fibers while maintaining comfort.
Ralph Lauren seeks to further expand the use of his recyclable post-consumer cotton and reduce its reliance on non-biodegradable materials such as polyester and nylon.