This year, US Open ball people and officials are sporting uniforms made from recycled plastic bottles and tennis ball cans.
Since 2005, Ralph Lauren’s flagship brand Polo Ralph Lauren has designed the official uniforms for on-court staff at the annual tennis tournament. For 2021, the collection was created with sustainability in mind.
Made in partnership with sports equipment company Wilson, the new Polo Ralph Lauren uniforms feature yarn spun from waste (namely recycled plastic bottles and tennis ball cans) collected from the 2020 US Open. Ralph Lauren intends to collect more this year and use it to create the same high-quality fabric for next year.
The concept of spinning recycled plastic into fabric is increasingly popular among fashion brands that seek new ways to create garments without relying on environmentally damaging virgin materials. (Polyester and nylon, for example, emit significant amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere during production and do not biodegrade.)
Earlier this month, Stella McCartney announced its Winter 2021 Reclypse sneakers would be made from recycled fishing nets and old carpets. And in the spring, Patagonia revealed it was working on a new line of sustainable jackets, made with old fishing nets.
Recycled US Open uniforms
Ralph Lauren’s decision to create US open uniforms without virgin fibers ties to its recent pledge to overhaul its supply chain, prioritize recycled materials, and embrace circularity as it heads toward its 2040 net-zero emissions target.
“As part of our commitment to the climate goals outlined in the Paris Agreement, our ambitious near-term action to decarbonize our operations and value chain will be matched with long-term ambition,” the brand’s Commitment reads. “We have joined the growing net-zero movement and are setting explicit goals that build on our existing GHG reduction targets to ensure a more stable climate for future generations.”
The new recycled Ralph Lauren uniforms aren’t just for staff. If you’ve always wanted to dress like a ball person, customers can also purchase through the brand’s website.