News on this release was originally published November 4, 2021.
Update March 3, 2022: PUMA are set to begin the wear-testing phase of RE:SUEDE, and are looking for 500 Germany-based individuals to participate in the testing. Those selected will receive a pair of shoes to wear for six months, then send back to the company. 'We want participants to wear the RE:SUEDE as part of their daily routine', said Stefan Seidel, head of corporate sustainability at PUMA. 'That is how we can gather realistic feedback about the durability of the materials used in the sneaker'. Though the RE:SUEDE looks almost identical to its classic predecessor, it's made of earth-conscious materials like Zeology tanned suede, biodegradable TPE and hemp fibres.
After PUMA receive the worn shoes, they'll be tested for biodegradability, and the results will be shared with other entities in the footwear industry. As thanks for their participation in the project, each wear tester will also get a brand-new pair of RE:SUEDEs free of charge. If you're based in Germany and looking to get in on the action, you can register here. Check out the original article below for more info as well!
As part of the 'Forever Better' sustainability initiative, PUMA have announced a biodegradable version of their classic Suede that's dubbed the RE:SUEDE. The first product from PUMA's earth-conscious 'Circular Lab', itself a fresh piece of the 'Forever Better' push, the RE:SUEDE offers all the classic hoops style its fans know and love, but with a transient twist that's conscious of the Earth we live on!
If a shoe's called the Suede, it has to be made of, well... suede, so the RE:SUEDE uses a new material called Zeology. Zeology is a suede that undergoes a special tanning process to make it more comfortable for the wearer and more conscious of the planet, and it's bolstered by other biodegradable materials like TPE and hemp fibres. From a build standpoint, the RE:SUEDE is almost identical to its predecessor – save for the original Suede's eyestay strip which was cut out to save material.
PUMA have an extensive rollout plan for the RE:SUEDE as well. In January 2022, it'll be given to 500 wear-testers in Germany, who will wear it for six months to check the durability of its materials. After those six months, each RE:SUEDE will be sent back to PUMA, then shipped off to Valor Compostering B.V., a Netherlands-based outfit that will compost the broken-down RE:SUEDEs and determine if the compost they create is suitable for agricultural use.
'With every challenge there’s an opportunity – and we’ve continued to push ourselves to do better by applying our strengths as well as acknowledging and improving on our weaknesses,' says Heiko Desens, PUMA’s creative director. 'We hope that progress made during the RE:SUEDE experiment will help us continue to raise the bar in circularity testing – enabling our consumers to make better fashion choices in the future, so their sneakers can go "from Suede to Soil", without compromising on product style or durability during ownership'.
Want to make more conscious sneaker choices? Learn more about the art of being a sustainable sneakerhead here.