Giant sportswear company Puma has announced it may soon be ridding its products of leather.
According to Executive chairman Jochen Zeitz, the company has chosen to remove the material from its shoes due to the ecological damage it does to the planet. He added that the company will “eventually” research leather alternatives.
“We have to find alternative ways of producing our raw materials without asking nature to do it for us,” he told the Financial Times.
While sustainability is a big reason for businesses to reconsider leather-made products, it’s also not ideal for shoes when you really think about the logistics. It’s heavy, isn’t always consistent, and doesn’t breathe well – something most people want in a pair of running or walking shoes.
According to Keon Kaye, a business sustainability expert and editor of greengopost, “younger consumers have greater expectations around sustainability.” He added that “all of these commodities are becoming more expensive, so companies have to be more creative in their thinking. And, alternative solutions are now more cost effective.”
Puma has kept quiet on when leather will be phased out and what will be used in place of it, but some possibilities do already exist. Last year the company launched sneakers made of recyclable materials, with an outer sole made of rice husks.
It’s all about getting creative. Nike has recently debuted a shoe made entirely out of yarn, so perhaps Puma will come up with the next innovation and interesting idea. Maybe they could use Nike’s open database to help find some new ideas.