How Ralph Lauren Out'Fitted' Team USA With Technology-Led Apparel

Ralph Lauren, the official outfitter of Team USA at the Olympic games, developed 'Intelligent Insulation'. A sustainable, technology solution that allows their apparel to comfortably endure all weather conditions, while also serving as a stylish true fit.

February 21, 2022

Since 2008, Ralph Lauren has been the official outfitter of American athletes participating in the Olympic games. The opening and closing Beijing ceremonies will showcase garments where every inch represents a heroic effort of innovation. From the wool hats down to the insulated boots, Ralph Lauren took a different approach for creating their custom 2022 games gear, focusing on integrated technology.


Opening ceremony RL uniform

So, what exactly is unique for Beijing 2022? To start, how about a groundbreaking apparel and textile innovation with Intelligent Insulation – a first-to-market, sustainably-minded temperature responsive fabric that adapts to cooler temperatures by expanding and creating a layer of insulation?

“The development and introduction of Intelligent Insulation reimagines what is possible in the apparel landscape. For the first time, you can have a singular item that provides incredible versatility and style, for a variety of temperatures, changing the way we can holistically think about the makeup of a consumer’s closet. As a longtime partner of Team USA, Ralph Lauren is proud to continually provide innovative and purposeful apparel to the world’s best athletes,” - David Lauren, Chief Branding and Innovation Officer, Ralph Lauren.

Intelligent Insulation allows the apparel to carry through three different seasons in addition to being suitable for both indoor and outdoor environments.  Using sustainable ethos within the design also enables the finished product to withstand a variety of conditions, adapting to various air temperatures and pressures without the use of a battery. This ultimately increases the lifespan of the product. 

Ralph Lauren partnered with Skyscrape to bring this innovation (which took years of research) to market in time for team USA to debut it at the opening ceremonies held on February 4th. The entire team look consisted of- an anorak, featuring Intelligent Insulation technology, a mid-layer jacket, pants, gloves and boots all including recycled polyester fiber made with post-consumer plastic bottles. Each item in the uniform is proudly manufactured in the United States. 

The result? All USA athletes participating in the games had a standout classic look with comfortable fit that successfully represented the sustainability purpose Ralph Lauren had envisioned. 

WATCH: Ralph Lauren Demonstrates Their Intelligent Insolation


Fast forward 16 days to February 20th, and you will find USA athletes still demonstrating a continued commitment to sustainability in their Closing Ceremony Ralph Lauren gear. 

Athletes typically athletes meet with Ralph Lauren for processing in the city where the games are held, in order to get their perfect fit. This year due to COVID restrictions, this was held in Los Angeles. 

Team processing is athletes' final step to becoming U.S. Olympic and Paralympic team. "For about three hours, each athlete will navigate a maze of stations and kiosks to collect all the gear," Team USA explained in a 2018 article hosted on their site. 

"They’ll spend time catching up with old friends and meeting new teammates. The room is loud, filled with laughter, tears and the nervous energy of getting ready to compete in the world’s largest athletic competition.

They arrive as individuals, but they leave as the U.S. Olympic Team and U.S. Paralympic Team, ready to take on the world."

The 2022 Closing Parade Uniform includes a buffalo plaid hooded puffer jacket featuring recycled polyester and recycled down; a fleece pant (men’s) and fleece legging (women’s), gloves and boots made with recycled polyester; and an intarsia turtleneck sweater and hat made from Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) grown wool. (Ralph Lauren sources wool from RWS-certified ranches
and by 2025, is committed to using 100% RWS-certified or recycled

As a global leader in sizing, True Fit applauds Ralph Lauren for such an admirable effort -  setting a gold standard in creating Team USA's sustainable, yet stylish Olympic Fit. 

Interested in sporting Ralph Lauren Team USA apparel yourself? Good news! You can shop it at Bloomingdales. Use True Fit to find the size that's best for you. 

BeFunky-collage copy

*all photos and videos provided by Ralph Lauren, except screen shot above via Bloomingdales.