HERZOGENAURACH – German sportswear giant Puma has confirmed to Apparel Insider it will launch its first collection made primarily from recycled polyester later this year. However, there are no immediate plans to follow Adidas’ pledge this week to transition towards 100 per cent use of recycled polyester, with Puma suggesting, “more research and technological advances are needed to close recycling loops effectively.”
Stefan Seidel, head of corporate sustainability with German sportswear giant Puma told Apparel Insider: “Puma takes the issue of plastic pollution and ocean pollution very seriously. We think more research and technological advances are needed to close recycling loops effectively. We are prepared to contribute to this research, as we have done in the past with our contributions to Worn Again and our Cradle2Crade certified collections.
“As we all know the recycling of plastic bottles works only for one cycle and after that one cycle we run into the same linear problems as for virgin polyester. Besides that, if we use plastic bottle flakes on a large scale for the textile industry – how does that impact recycling loops for the plastic bottle industry?
“Therefore … more research and technological advances are needed.”
Asked whether the price premium of recycled polyester was an issue for Puma, Seidel told us: “Cost implications for recycled polyester is indeed an issue – and also the limited full circularity of the current approach with plastic bottles.”
Seidel also told us the company’s focus in terms of polyester sustainability was in upping its use of bluesign certified polyester. Seidel added: “In 2017, we already reached 47 per cent bluesign-certified polyester in our apparel ranges and 34 per cent bluesign-certified polyester in our accessories ranges, next to 40 per cent BCI cotton.
“Bluesign certified polyester is more sustainable through a very thorough certification system including chemical screening and management as well as environmental audits at the fabric production. We are confident that we can reach our 50 per cent target for more sustainable polyester already in 2018, and plan to expand the target further until 2020.”