On Wednesday, activists in San Francisco descended on Ralph Lauren’s San Francisco store, calling out its role in rainforest destruction and human rights abuses.
Last week, Ralph Lauren released its updated citizenship report, which describes the company’s work in the last year on environmental issues and its operating guidelines. This is a first step for the company; Ralph Lauren updated the report to acknowledge that deforestation and human rights abuses are important issues the company needs to address.
Now the real work begins. Ralph Lauren must update the report with specific language to eliminate controversy and protect forests and communities in a meaningful way.
In order to deliver this message, ten RAN activists protest in front Ralph Lauren’s store in San Francisco. We handed out balloons (printed with our Ralph Lauren brand jam) and made sure customer knew about Ralph Lauren’s role in rainforest destruction for fabric. Located in a busy shopping district, we were able to talk to a range of people—from folks who work in the neighborhood to those on their way from yoga, from little kids to their grandparents.
The balloons provided a great opportunity for us to chat with folks about the issue of forests in fabric. While this issue is still new (and surprising) to many, the people we engaged were really supportive. Several asked how they could be more involved—a group that works at a business near the Ralph Lauren store told us that they are planning to send emails as an office activity. This movement is clearly growing.
It was beautiful day, and looking down Fillmore St. the sea of gold balloons printed with our campaign message was a glorious sight! Once again, this light-hearted tactic captured people’s’ attention.
But those of us on the street in San Francisco weren’t the only ones taking action—thousands of you were taking action online—emailing Ralph Lauren and asking the company to protect forests and communities. If you haven’t already, please send your email now!
We will be keeping the pressure on in the coming months, so please stay tuned for what’s next.