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Puma developing compostable shoes, t-shirts and bags

What will you soon be able to do with worn out, old and smelly sports shoes? Throwing them in the rubbish could be a thing of the past if Puma has anything to do with it. The sportswear brand has announced it is developing shoes, t-shirts and bags that will be either compostable or recyclable. 

According to the Guardian and German magazine Wirtschaftswoche, Puma boss Franz Koch said the company was working with partners to develop products in accordance with the cradle-to-cradle philosophy.

 "It follows two circuits, the technical and the biological: I can use old shoes to make new ones or something completely different, such as car tyres," he said. "In the biological cycle, I can make shoes and shirts that are compostable so I can shred them and bury them in the back garden. We are working on products that meet these two criteria."

The German company seems to be on an environmental crusade of sorts. Earlier this year it put an analysis of its entire supply chain out into public view, making no efforts to hide the environmental damage caused by some of its supply chain. The company dubbed its supply chain analysis the world’s first environmental profit and loss statement (E P & L).  

Talking to the UK’s Channel 4, Puma’s chief executive Jochen Zeitz said: “If we don’t value the services that nature provides, in the long run we can not be a sustainable business because the are inherent risks if you don’t value eco system services. Take water, take carbon—there will be legislation, there will be climate change, there will be a scarcity of water. If we apply the true value of those two factors, we will be able early on to manage those risks.” 

Puma’s award-winning ‘Clever Little Bag’ design adopts a number of environmentally sensitive principles. The packaging uses 65 percent less paper to make and, most impressively, reduces water, energy, and diesel consumption during manufacturing by over 60 percent a year. Puma says it also reduces carbon emissions by 10,000 tonnes per year. And, wouldn’t you know it, it’s also reusable.