Ralph Lauren recently launched a line of organic cotton bedding and towels they're calling LaurenSpa, marking the first time we've seen the ubiquitous designer incorporate green into its products. Though certainly meaningful, it brings up a lot of the issues inherent in any big mainstream company going green, so we sat down both sides of the argument to duke it out. It's Point/Counterpoint time!
Point: It's great to see a label like Ralph Lauren finally embracing the green movement by making extensive use of organic cotton.
Counterpoint: Okay, but if they really cared about "going green," they would have begun using environmentally-preferable materials a long time ago. Even Nike has been blending organic cotton into their garments for over a decade.
Counterpoint: That's one way to look at it; another way to say it would be that they waited for green to get trendy and then hopped on the bandwagon. It's a token effort at best.
Point: Nah. Anytime an outfit as large as Ralph Lauren gets in to the green game, you know they're serious because of the sheer volume they produce, and the amount of work it took from top to bottom.
Counterpoint: You're right, they're serious, about co-opting the green movement to make a buck. It's slick marketing and lets them marginalize real green issues and gloss over the rest of their enormous, negative impact on our environment.
Point: It could be the start of something great; if we support them now, it'll show that green is really here to stay, and they'll incorporate organic cotton and other green practices throughout the company.
Counterpoint: BS. It gives Ralph Lauren something to point so they can say "Look! We're green! Now leave us alone, hippies."
Counterpoint: Yes, more organic is better than less, but it's not the only fish in the big green sea. While it's nice that they're supporting organic agriculture, and claim to have an eye on every part of production from farm to factory, I won't be totally sold until I see a more meaningful commitment.