Puma is joining the fight against plastic pollution.
The brand announced a new collaboration with First Mile, a producer of recycled polyester sourced from plastic refuse collected in low-income communities, to create a new sportswear capsule for Spring/Summer 2020.
With the addition of the new capsule, Puma is entering the ranks of brands that have begun to fight back against the inundation of plastic in our environment by reconstructing it into usable apparel.
“Plastic pollution is one of the most pressing environmental problems the world faces today,” Adam Petrick, global director of brand and marketing for Puma, said. “That is why we are very excited to join First Mile and be a part of the solution while supporting low- income communities and transparency in supply chains.”
Turning plastic into raw materials for footwear has caught on in recent years and companies are ramping up their intake of the new input.
Adidas recently announced plans to double the production of footwear it produces with recycled plastic and Sperry launched a collection of recycled polyester footwear earlier in March. In the past couple of months, retailers like Inditex, Target and Walmart have also pledged to reduce the amount of plastic in their packaging and products.
First Mile, Puma’s partner in this new venture, collects the raw materials for their recycled polyester yarn from plastic bottles picked up from the “streets, canals and landfills” of towns in Haiti, Honduras and Taiwan. It’s collection network, which the organization says is about 4,000 people strong, helps to keep those areas free of unwanted plastic while also providing a unique sourcing opportunity for brands like Puma.
“We are thrilled to welcome Puma to join a group of bold, innovative brands leading the way in responsible sourcing,” Kelsey Halling, director of partnerships at First Mile, said. “The Puma x First Mile collaboration will positively impact lives by giving value to plastic waste.”
Puma says the capsule will be another aspect of its 10for20 sustainability campaign, which began in 2016 and is based on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Aside from the Puma x First Mile collection, Puma has made a number of sustainability-minded improvements to its company—including the implementation of sustainable cotton into its supply chain two years ahead of its initial schedule.
The new capsule will include footwear and apparel with a focus on outdoor elements and practical features like utility pockets. Puma says it will be released in either Q1 or Q2 of 2020.