PUMA has always been at the forefront of new technologies. The brand has been pushing new ways to improve the performance, comfort, durability and overall design of its products. In recent years, the brand has also been one of the leading brands when it comes to creating more sustainable manufacturing processes. We’ve seen this previously for its RE:GEN range, as well as collaborations with First Mile and Central Saint Martins. The brand has now released another initiative, this time through one of its most iconic sneakers in the form of the PUMA RE:SUEDE.
The experimental version of the classic Suede sneaker was developed to test a product to make it biodegradable. As such, PUMA aims to be more sustainable in the use of its materials. With materials such as the Zeology tanned suede, used for the upper of the PUMA RE:SUEDE sneaker, the TPE and hemp fibres are biodegradable.
The RE:SUEDE experiment is a pilot in circularity. PUMA aims to create a new generation of the Suede sneaker with new standards of sustainability. It has been designed to address the challenge of waste management in the footwear industry. With its release, PUMA also tackles its responsibility when it comes to the after-life of its products.
The PUMA Suede sneaker was first released in 1968, Since then, the sneaker has been at the forefront of cultural turning points, transcending style and trends. In the form of the RE:SUEDE, PUMA wants to give its consumers a stylish and more sustainable choice, while showcasing the latest technologies.
The PUMA RE:SUEDE Experiment
PUMA will be selecting 500 participants to join its experimental journey of the RE:SUEDE. The pilot programme is set to launch this January.
Selected participants will wear their PUMA RE:SUEDE sneakers for a period of six months to test out the durability of the biodegradable materials. Thereafter, the sneakers will be sent back to PUMA via take-back infrastructure. This was designed to move the products to the next step in the experiment.
Following this, the sneakers will be subject to an industrial biodegradation process. This will take place in a controlled environment at Valor Compostering B.V. The goal here is to determine if Grade A compost can be produced for agricultural use. The findings will help PUMA assess the biodegradable process. It is essential to research and development for the future of sustainable shoe consumption.
The experiment forms part of PUMA’s larger mandate – increasing its level of recycled polyester in its products to 75% by 2025. As a result, it will be setting up product takeback schemes in major markets. This forms part of the recycled material options for leather, rubber, cotton and polyurethane.
The PUMA RE:SUEDE ushers in a potentially new era for sneakers, both in its manufacturing processes and lifespan thereafter.