Puma Releases 500 Pairs of Its Experimental Re:Suede Sneaker After Two-Year Composting Experiment

Puma has released a commercial version of its experimental Re:Suede sneaker for Earth Day.

The release of the new Re:Suede 2.0 sneaker comes after a two-year pilot program by the German athletic company where it explored how to turn materials into compost under tailor-made industrial conditions.

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As part of the experiment, which was concluded in late 2023, Puma produced 500 special pairs of its suede sneaker with materials selected for their ability to decompose, such as Zeology tanned suede. Volunteers wore the Re:Suede for half a year before they returned them to Puma, so the sneakers could be turned into compost.

With this new release, Puma said it will now make 500 pairs of the commercial version of this shoe, the Re:Suede 2.0, available for sale on puma.com/eu and Zalando Plus starting April 22. The commercial version has been developed to incorporate the lessons learned during the experiment and the feedback received from the volunteers, Puma noted.

Further, once the Re:Suede 2.0s are worn out, customers can return them for free, the company added. Puma will then send the sneakers to its partners so they can be put through a specially equipped industrial composting process. In exchange for sending them back, customers will receive a 20 percent discount on their next purchase.

Anne-Laure Descours, chief sourcing officer at Puma, said in a statement that the Re:Suede 2.0 is an “important step” towards finding viable end of life solutions for our footwear. “While we are excited about this progress, we will continue to innovate with our partners to determine the infrastructure needed for a scalable long-term solution, essential for achieving meaningful impact in waste reduction,” Descours said.

Puma’s Re:Suede project and its polyester recycling program Re:Fibre were created as part of the company’s “Circular Lab” initiative, a hub led by its innovation and design experts aimed at creating the future of its circularity programs.

In March, Puma said that it reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 24 percent in 2023 compared to 2022, despite a strong sales growth. This was made possible by Puma’s core suppliers doubling their use of renewable energy in 2023 compared to the previous year, increasing the use of less carbon intensive materials in its products, the introduction of low carbon shipment tariffs by the company’s logistics partner Maersk, by using renewable electricity or purchasing renewable energy certificates at its own operations and by investing in electric vehicles in its car fleet.

“We are very proud of the progress we have achieved on our sustainability journey in 2023, particularly when it comes to the reduction of greenhouse gases,” Descours said in March. “We will not stop there, however, and continue to execute our Forever.Better. sustainability strategy and our 10For25 targets.”

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