Ralph Lauren launches new Made to Order service

Where tech and greener thinking meet: Ralph Lauren launches Made to Order

Preppy brand Ralph Lauren has started selling its celebrated polo shirt via a ‘Made to Order’ service.

The US-based international company said ‘The Custom Polo, Made to Order’ offering provides customers with a compelling experience while also reducing the brand’s environmental impact.

Building on previous customised product opportunities – Ralph Lauren was an early adopter of monogrammed garments – the Made to Order service allows customers to design their own individual version of a polo shirt “from the ground up”.

Online customers can create hundreds of different designs by choosing the colour or colour-block of the body, sleeves and collar, as well as customising the sleeve with letters, words or initials.

Ralph Lauren said graphic designs, additional customisation options, logos and limited editions will be available in the months ahead, although David Lauren, the company’s chief innovation officer, told Fast Company this week that all of Ralph Lauren’s products could be made on demand in the not too distant future.

He said such a move would reduce waste inventory, help consumers buy products they wear again and again, and – by choosing Made to Order manufacturing locations near where customers are based – it can cut out a lot of miles the products would usually travel in the supply chain.

In its announcement revealing the new service, Ralph Lauren said: “As traditional manufacturing processes give way to new technologies, the company looks to be at the forefront of what is emerging as a revolutionary new approach to meeting the needs of today’s consumer.

“This model has both immediate and long-term benefits, including reducing product inventory, allowing for rapid fulfilment and agility in meeting consumer desires and taste, eliminating the need for markdowns. Unlike traditional cut-and-sew production methods, where patterns are cut from yardage and assembled, each polo is knit on demand with the panel pieces coming directly off the knitting machine knit to size, resulting in minimal material wastage.”

Consumers should look out for the “World of Color” marketing campaign, which will run this spring and summer.

Snapchat and TikTok will play a significant role in the marketing campaign, as Ralph Lauren targets a younger audience as part of its ongoing transformation and modernisation process that involves the integration of digital across its business.

Read more examples of retail green thinking on Green Retail World

[Image credit: Ralph Lauren]

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