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Rapha refreshes Classic collection with new recycled materials

The Classic Jersey II and Classic Bib Shorts feature a new version of the Rapha Performance Merino fabric that uses recycled polyester

Rapha is the latest cycling brand to take steps to be more eco friendly and it is starting with its original jersey and bib short combo from the Classic range.

Central to the new garments is this new fabric which utilises polyester that would have otherwise gone into landfill. Rapha says that the move “reduces our environmental impact without compromising product performance and durability.”

While the use of used materials is a simple way of meeting environmental targets, some might feel that the performance of a garment may be compromised by recycled fabrics. Rapha says that “unlike generic merino blends, RPM150 is light, soft, breathable and adaptable to a huge range of conditions.”

2021 Rapha Classic Recycled-4

Rapha says that the recycled polyester in question “is GRS (Global Recycled Standard) certified, and as a result, can be traced back to the post-consumer plastic bottles it originated from. The merino content, which makes up the remaining 36% of the RPM fabric, is sourced under strict adherence to animal welfare standards, and is non-mulesed, like all wool at Rapha.”

Next year, Rapha claims, the “RPM supplier will achieve RWS (Responsible Wool Standard) certification” which is the highest standard available in the industry.

2021 Rapha Classic Recycled-2

In terms of styling, fit and features, the Classic Jersey II and Classic Bib Shorts will remain the same.

This isn’t the first move that Rapha says it has made to become a more environmentally friendly company. The goal, says the British brand, is to be carbon-neutral by 2025. To do this, Rapha says that it has set out a roadmap within its Impact Commitments which sets out goals of “transitioning to 100% renewable energy, 100% low impact packaging, and environmentally preferred materials across 90% of our seasonal production.”

Rapha’s Sustainability Manager, Duncan Coulter explained that “what might sound insignificant at first – swapping out a fabric on one jersey – actually has a domino effect for our environmental impact as a brand.

2021 Rapha Classic Recycled-1

Emma Bentley, Rapha’s Fabric Development Manager added, “the new Classic Jersey represents a drive to doing things better. This garment is so prominent, and is such an icon, that making this change really demonstrates our commitment to reducing our environmental impact.”

“This jersey was Rapha’s first product, so starting here makes a big statement. We could have focussed on a less important product or even developed a whole new low impact collection. But by starting here, with our most iconic garment, we’re making a statement that this commitment to doing things better comes straight from the heart of the brand.”

Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.

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