Rapha updates Classic jersey and bibs with recycled materials

by Ronan Mc Laughlin

photography by Rapha


Rapha recently published its Impact Commitments, a series of community, climate and circulatory targets and actions, with refreshingly short timelines and lofty targets. Within these commitments, Rapha has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2025. 

Rapha has now announced the first step on that road towards carbon neutrality with an update to its Classic Jersey II and Classic Bib Shorts. 

The Classic Jersey was Rapha’s first-ever product. While both the Classic Jersey and Classic Bib Shorts have retained their understated design, refined fit, and rider-inspired details, the updated jersey and shorts get a new version of Rapha’s proprietary Performance Merino 150 (RPM150) fabric, now incorporating recycled polyester. 

Rapha claims RPM150 is light, soft, breathable, and adaptable to a range of conditions. Furthermore, Rapha claims using recycled polyester reduces its reliance on virgin materials and utilises materials otherwise destined for landfill without compromising product performance and durability.

Emma Bentley, Rapha’s Fabric Development Manager, said of the updates to the Classic Jersey “This garment is so prominent, and is such an icon, that making this change really demonstrates our commitment to reducing our environmental impact.”

The recycled polyester yarn used by Rapha in the updated range is Global Recycled Standard (GRS) certified and can be traced back to the original plastic bottles it was sourced from. Rapha sources the non-mulesed merino wool content of the fabric following strict adherence to animal welfare standards. Rapha claims its RPM fabric supplier will achieve RWS (Responsible Wool Standard) certification, the industry’s highest standard, within the next year. 

The updated classic range is just the first step in Rapha’s ambitious plans and commitments announced in its Impact Commitments. 100% renewable energy, 100% low-impact packaging, and environmentally preferred materials across 90% of its seasonal production are all targets along the way. 

Duncan Coulter, Rapha’s Sustainability Manager, explained, “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.” 

Coulter pointed to the significance of Rapha’s first product being the first to get the update. “We could have focussed on a less important product or even developed a whole new low impact collection,” he said. “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.”

The updated range is available now. The Men’s and Women’s Classic Jersey II retails for US$150 / £110 / AU$195 / €135. The Men’s and Women’s Classic Bib Shorts are going for US$235 / £170 / AU$295 / €200.

Find out more about Rapha’s Classic Jersey fabric story here.

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