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April 25, 2022

Puma rolls out Re:Suede pilot to test biodegradability of shoe

German sportswear company Puma has now started to distribute 500 pairs of its experimental Re:Suede sneaker to participants in Germany after recording ‘strong interest’ for its latest biodegradability project.

By Fi Forrest

Originally planned for January, the Re:Suede experiment, will test whether Puma can make a biodegradable version of its most iconic shoe, the Suede. The participants will wear the Re:Suede for half a year before returning their pairs to Puma. The company will then send the worn Re:Suedes to industrial composting experts Ortessa in the Netherlands, who will analyse whether the sneakers can biodegrade in a controlled, industrial setting. 

“We are excited that we received many times more requests for the Re:Suede experiment than we had pairs available, which shows that there is a large interest in sustainability topics,” said Heiko Desens, global creative director at Puma. “As part of the experiment, we will also gather feedback from participants about the comfort and durability of the sneakers, which will help us design future versions of the shoe, if the experiment is successful.” 

Puma’s global brand ambassadors, such as model, actress and activist Cara Delevingne, will also test the Re:Suede as part of this project. 

The Re:Suede is made with materials such as Zeology tanned suede, biodegradable TPE and hemp fibres. Compared to other biodegradable materials that were evaluated by Puma, these materials also ensure better comfort for the wearer. 

The Re:Suede experiment is the first project to launch as part of Puma’s “Circular Lab”, an innovation hub, which brings together Puma’s sustainability and design experts who work on circularity programs. The recently announced Re:Jersey project, in which Puma pilots an innovative garment-to-garment recycling process, is also a part of “Circular Lab”. 

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