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90% of Puma Products to Use ‘More Sustainable Materials’ by 2025

After making significant gains in improving the sustainability of its apparel, Puma is looking to substantially ramp up its eco-friendly footwear in the years ahead.

The German company plans for nine out of 10 of its products to be “made with more sustainable materials” by 2025. To meet this designation, apparel and accessories will need to be made of at least 50 percent more sustainable—this generally means either certified or recycled—materials. Footwear, meanwhile, must feature one or more components classified as more sustainable.

Last year, 50 percent of Puma’s products were made from more sustainable materials. This included 81 percent of apparel, 47 percent of accessories and 24 percent of footwear.

“In our sustainability strategy, we focus on making the largest possible positive impact, so our customers know that by buying a Puma product, they buy a sustainably sourced product,” Stefan Seidel, head of corporate sustainability at Puma, said in a statement. “We will continue to push hard to live up to our mission statement of being ‘Forever Better.’”

The business previously aimed for 50 percent of the cotton and polyester used in its products to come from more sustainable sources by 2020. After meeting that target two years early, it upgraded its goal in 2019 to 90 percent. According to the company’s most recent annual sustainability report, 100 percent of the cotton and 99.5 percent of the polyester used in its apparel qualified as “more sustainable” in 2020.

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Puma also sourced 100 percent of the down and viscose used in its apparel and accessories from sustainable sources in 2020. More than 97 percent of its leather and cardboard came from certified sources. The company’s new targets call for it to source 100 percent of its cotton, polyester, leather, down feathers and cardboard from more sustainable sources by 2025.

As a next step, Puma plans to ramp up the amount of recycled materials in its apparel and accessories such that, by 2025, 75 percent of the polyester used in these products comes from recycled sources. In 2020, 18.7 percent of the polyester used in its apparel was recycled. The company recorded an even lower rate within accessories—2.1 percent. As part of its commitment to build up its recycled material sourcing, Puma has joined the Textile Exchange’s “Recycled Polyester Challenge.”

Puma’s 2025 plan also includes a couple goals related to waste. The company’s retail division has started up a project with the goal of expanding the lifespan of its products and reintegrating used materials into production. Puma plans to pilot the a takeback option this year, complementing an existing takeback pilot scheme in Hong Kong. By 2025, it is aiming to have established takeback schemes in all major markets.

Additionally, the business is looking to reduce the production waste sent to landfills by 50 percent. Even as Puma makes gains in other areas, it has seen waste from production climb 60 percent from 2017 to 2020. Of this, however, Puma says most is recycled, with only 9 percent ending up in landfills.

Puma’s other 2025 goals include researching biodegradable plastics options for products, supporting scientific research on microfibers, eliminating plastic bags from Puma stores globally and reaching 25 percent renewable energy usage among core suppliers.

Earlier this year, the company took a step forward on expanding its recycled offerings with the launch of its Re.Gen collection. Apparel styles were made with recycled polyester or at least 20 percent recycled cotton, while all footwear featured a minimum of 20 percent recycled material on the upper. The collection launched in two separate drops, one in March and another last month.

In February, the company teamed up with model, actress and Puma brand partner Cara Delevingne to release an eco-conscious yoga apparel line. Puma said it used at least 70 percent recycled polyester and fully offset any unavoidable emissions when creating the Exhale Collection.

Last year, the company teamed with the First Mile initiative to release an apparel and footwear collection produced from recycled plastic yarn collected in countries including Haiti, Honduras and Taiwan. Each apparel item in the capsule featured between 83 percent and 100 percent recycled polyester produced from plastic bottles recovered from the network run by First Mile. Fifty percent of the footwear uppers, meanwhile, were made from the recycled yarn.