In March 2013, Puma launched the InCycle collection which offers apparel, footwear and accessories that are 100% C2C (Cradle to Cradle) certified. All items in the InCycle collection are closed-loop and are either part of the ‘Biological Cycle’, which means materials that are biodegradable/compostable, or the ‘Technical Cycle’, which refers to materials, such as textiles and plastics that are recyclable. To educate consumers and facilitate the process InCycle items have special identification labels.
PUMA encourages individuals to return the items at the end of their lifecycle under the Bring Me Back Program. To facilitate this program Puma has installed recycling bins in stores worldwide, which can be used to return used shoes, clothing and accessories of any brand. The “Bring Me Back” program is run in conjunction with global recycling company I:CO.
The InCycle initiative was stated after Puma did its 2010 Environmental Profit and Loss statement and found that 57% of the company’s footprint comes from the raw materials that go into its products, such as leather, cotton and rubber. As a result the company aimed at increasing the number of products made of more sustainable materials. InCycle uses biodegradable polymers, recycled polyester and organic cotton in order to eliminate pesticides and other hazardous chemicals.
The biodegradable products of the InCycle line, such as shirts, can be broken down by microorganisms into biological nutrients. As a result, the biodegradable clothing items in the InCycle line have a third lower environmental footprint than conventional products.
PUMA’s recyclable InCycle products, such as a Track Jacket and a Backpack, have been created using a single material to ensure they are fully recyclable. For example the PUMA Backpack is made of polypropylene and will be returned to the original manufacturer in China, who will then produce new backpacks from the recycled material.
According to Puma CEO Franz Koch, “We feel that we are responsible for the environmental impact our products cause and this innovative concept in sustainability is a first step towards our long-term vision of using innovative materials and design concepts for PUMA products that can be recycled in technical processes or composted in biological cycles.”