When you think of sustainable design and green products, odds are that the first thing to pop into your mind isn’t going to be shoes. They have a limited amount of use before they fall apart, most people don’t recycle them, and they aren’t typically created in the most environmentally sustainable processes. However, there’s one company that’s making large leaps in gaining a greener attitude where shoes are concerned: Puma!
In April 2010, Puma released their sustainable “Clever Little Bag,” a reusable, lower-impact alternative to the traditional shoe box. Not only do they use 65% less paper than an ordinary shoe box, but they also reduce diesel consumption in the manufacturing process by nearly 60% annually. It’s all a part of Puma’s effort to reduce their “paw print” over the next few years. By 2015, Puma hopes to achieve the following major milestones:
• 25% reduction of CO2, energy, water and waste in PUMA offices, stores, warehouses and direct supplier factories.
• Paperless office policy through a 75% reduction and offsetting initiatives for the remaining paper usage such as tree planting initiatives.
• 25% CO2 reduction through more efficient product transport solutions by our logistic partners.
• Begin collaborating with our strategic suppliers and logistic service providers to offset their own footprints in the long-term.
• Introduction of the PUMA Sustainability-Index (S-Index) standard that serves as a benchmark for sustainable products and communicates the products’ sustainable features to consumers.
• 50% of PUMA’s international collections will be manufactured according to the PUMA S-Index standard by 2015, using sustainable materials such as organic cotton, Cotton Made in Africa or recycled polyester as well as applying best practice production processes.
Next on the road to greener pastures for Puma? Compostable sneakers! It’s true; Puma hopes that in the near future they will be able to offer shoes that you can toss into your compost bin along with your coffee grounds and apple peels. They’re also doing research and development on recyclable sneakers. Either way, it’s about time that the shoe industry jumped on the green bandwagon, and many people are looking forward to the day when buying a new pair of shoes comes with less consumer guilt and a little more green satisfaction.