By Simon Smythe
Following on from the relaunch of the Classic Jersey II and Classic Bib Shorts, which now incorporate recycled polyester, Rapha has relaunched a newly environmentally friendly Logo collection.
Logo is a casual off-bike range of clothing that includes t-shirts, hoodies, polos and more, available in relaxed fits that Rapha says are cut for comfort and soft to the touch, with chain-stitched logos that hark back to cycling’s golden age. However, according to the British brand, the most important update to the collection is focused on the future.
Rapha says the new Logo collection is made using cotton sourced exclusively from organic farms. Using organic cotton reduces its environmental impact, while improving supply chain transparency.
According to Rapha, the documentation that comes with organic cotton helps it to better understand its origins and ensures it’s sourcing from regions that protect the human rights of its cotton farmers. Rapha says organic cotton has now become its default sourcing option.
Duncan Money, Rapha’s head of social and environmental impact, said: “Considering cotton isn’t a material people would necessarily associate with Rapha, it surprised us to see that these styles were contributing so much to our overall impact. In fact, transitioning from conventional to organic cotton quickly presented itself as one of the simplest yet most effective ways of reducing our carbon, water and chemical footprint, but equally it gives us greater visibility into our supply chain, which is the first step to ensuring the wellbeing of the people we source from. In response, in a single season we have transitioned 95% of our cotton, by weight, to organic sources, with the remainder set to follow in the coming seasons.”
“Whilst it’s true that cycling is a fundamental force for good, the cycling industry must do far more to minimise its social and environmental impacts. For a society facing up to climate change, cycling is much more than just a sport,” is Rapha’s rationale.
Alongside the launch of the Logo collection, Rapha has supplied an update on its progress towards becoming carbon neutral in 2025. In April, Rapha published its Impact Commitments programme, a roadmap aimed at helping it achieve its goal and improve its environmental impacts.
As well as changing to more environmentally friendly materials for its clothing, Rapha says its stores and offices globally will be transitioning to 100% renewable energy, adopting low-impact packaging and using environmentally preferred materials across 90% of its seasonal production.
Rapha’s press release explains: “As an apparel brand, we know that anywhere between 80-90% of our environmental impact is going to come from our supply chain, particularly in the creation of our fabrics. Harvesting raw materials and transforming them into high quality fabrics takes a lot of resources. As members of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, we use the Higg Index tools to measure these impacts, then take steps to improve them.”
Rapha says it recognises that excellent quality products are made by highly skilled workers, who are enabled by excellent, safe working conditions, and so has built strong, long-term relationships with leading suppliers in the industry that share its ethical values.
In what Rapha calls “taking the next step in transparency”, in alignment with the ODSAS (Open Data Standard for the Apparel Sector) guidance on best practice for supply chain disclosure, it has published a list of its Tier 1 suppliers for the first time, available here.
Extending product lifespans
Since 2004, the year it was founded, Rapha says it has repaired over 34,000 garments free of charge in order to extend their lifespans and save them from landfill. By the end of 2022 the brand aims to offer a take-back and donation scheme, moving beyond extending product life spans to a circular business model.
Rapha says it purchased verified offsets in 2021 to achieve carbon neutral shipping for all customer orders, something it says it will commit to doing every year from now on at no extra cost. “It’s important to establish that carbon offsets alone are not going to suitably address the challenge of climate change,” says the press release, “but achieving neutrality helps us contribute to the broader, global challenge of climate change by getting much needed funds into the hands of people implementing climate solutions.”
Introducing a new bag made from FSC certified kraft paper is another step Rapha is taking to make all its packaging from responsibly sourced renewable or recycled materials that are compostable or recyclable, by 2024. Over the course of a year, it says, this switch will reduce its use of virgin, single-use plastic by 2.3 tonnes.
Rapha’s Impact and Sustainability page has all the latest information about its progress towards meeting its sustainability goals.
As for the Logo collection, it’s available from Tuesday October 12 and prices are as follows:
Shop Rapha's sustainable materials page here
Simon Smythe is Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and has been in various roles at CW since 2003. His first job was as a sub editor on the magazine following an MA in online journalism (yes, it was just after the dot-com bubble burst).
In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends a bit more time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.
What's in the stable? There's a Colnago Master Olympic, a Hotta TT700, an ex-Castorama lo-pro that was ridden in the 1993 Tour de France, a Pinarello Montello, an Independent Fabrication Club Racer, a Shorter fixed winter bike and a renovated Roberts with a modern Campag groupset.
And the vital statistics:
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