Puma will need to stop using leather in its world-famous football boots due to the damage it perpetrates onto the environment, with the sportswear company’s executive chairman saying that the German brand will have to look at alternative materials.
Jochen Zeitz has admitted at the UN Rio+20 earth summit that future generations may well grow up in a world without leather football boots, including the Puma King as we know it today and to an extent even the PowerCats.
Mr. Zeitz himself is regarded as a pioneer of environmentally-sound business practices, cutting his own meat consumption by 80 % in recent years and also introducing ‘meat-free Mondays’ in office canteens at Puma.
The company unveiled an ‘environmental profit and loss account’ showing that the production and processing of raw materials was the biggest contributor to Puma’s environmental footprint, said Mr. Zeitz, “with leather being the biggest impact driver”.
Note that adidas and Nike have already started their transition away from natural leather products, with the adiPure 11pro using Taurus leather and a synthetic midfoot & heel, whereas the KangaLite synthetic leather material has proved to be a viable substitute without losing much of the benefits.
Mr. Zeitz, conceded hope that “maybe there’s an economic way of producing a leather-like product in the laboratory”, evidencing that Puma seems to be moving in this direction, and will other brands like Mizuno, Asics, Joma and Hummel follow suit ?