THURSDAY, JULY 09, 2015
THE BLOG OF THE RAINFOREST ACTION NETWORK

Ralph Lauren: Words vs. Reality

The campaign against Ralph Lauren is heating up. Last month, there were protests in both New York and San Francisco — and thousands of you are taking action to pressure the company.

If you’ve been following the campaign, you may already know that fabrics like rayon and viscose may contain rainforest destruction and egregious human rights abuses. If you haven’t, it may surprise you to learn that huge fashion companies rely on this deforestation to create its latest trends. These fabrics are actually produced by processing trees into fiber and weaving that fiber into fabric — making these companies responsible for destruction in Indonesia, Canada, Brazil and South Africa.

Recently, the company took a first step to address this issue in its citizenship report, released in June. In the report, the language makes it sound like Ralph Lauren cares deeply the environment and human rights — but there’s a serious disconnect between Ralph Lauren’s words and meaningful impact. Without true action, Ralph Lauren’s words are just empty rhetoric.

That is why we're demanding meaningful action. Empty words simply aren't enough while the forests are falling. Will you join us in telling Ralph Lauren to eliminate human rights abuses and deforestation from its fabric?

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Reality: In order to make way for pulp plantations, communities in North Sumatra have been forced off their land and face loss of livelihoods and brutal repression. Communities are fighting back, and it’s time for Ralph Lauren to stand with them. As one of the biggest fashion brands in the world, it has the resources to make a real difference by getting human rights abuses out of its fabric. Right now, it’s unclear how Ralph Lauren plans to defend the rights of communities being impacted by deforestation for fabric.

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Reality: Without a creating and implementing a comprehensive policy to cut deforestation and human rights from its supply chain, we can’t just take Ralph Lauren at its word. Ralph Lauren could start to build that trust. The company must dig into its supply chain and cut suppliers that threaten rainforests and the people who rely on them.

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Reality: Ralph Lauren has the resources and ability to make a real difference globally. The company must ensure that it goes beyond words and truly protects forests and communities. The beautiful products that Ralph Lauren creates shouldn’t come at the cost of rainforests and community rights.

Ralph Lauren is aware of the problems that may be present in its supply chain. This report acknowledges the role it has to play in protecting human rights and the environment. If the company stands by these statements, it must update its citizenship report and put these values into action.

 

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