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Ralph Lauren launches new regenerative cotton program

Jeremy Lim
27 October 2021

The Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation and the Soil Health Institute have announced the launch of a new regenerative cotton program.

Supported by an initial $5 million grant from the foundation, the program intends to intends to educate and encourage farmers to use regenerative farming practices, such as cover cropping and no till.

The science-based initiative will support long-term, sustainable cotton production in the United States, and aims to eliminate one million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent from the atmosphere by 2026.

Currently, cotton makes up more than 80% of Ralph Lauren Corporation’s total material use. The Foundation’s USRCF initiative complements Ralph Lauren’s global citizenship and sustainability goals of ensuring hundred percent of key materials, including cotton, will be sustainably sourced by 2025.

Roseann Lynch, Ralph Lauren's CPO and Head of the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation, said: “At the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation, we work to make the dream of a better life a reality by championing equity and creating positive change in communities around the world. Partnering to scale solutions that build community resilience are powerful ways to positively impact people’s lives, now and for the future.

“The U.S. Regenerative Cotton Fund is an ambitious effort crafted in partnership with the experts at the Soil Health Institute that puts growers at the centre of creating a sustainable future for U.S. cotton production.”

The program will also help to ensure farmers can increase their profitability and generate long-term value for their operations, with the Soil Health Institute working closely with cotton farmers on their operations.

Dr. Cristine Morgan, Chief Scientific Officer for the Soil Health Institute and leader of the USRCF, added: “To achieve widespread environmental benefits from regenerative agriculture means we must understand farmers’ needs and experiences when adopting these practices. Adoption is hindered by a lack of information on the business case, locally relevant soil health education programs, and until now, knowledge of how healthy a given soil can become and what that means for improving drought resilience, yield stability, economics, and other benefits for farmers.”

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