Tuesday 7 August 2012


It's pretty much a year to the day that The View highlighted Oat Shoes, an innovative Dutch brand of biodegradable shoe that you could bury in your garden when you were done with them. It's taken a while, but other manufacturers are starting to seed the market with their own takes on the idea.

The biggest of them all is Puma. The global brand is making big steps to be seen as greener, revealing their first environmental profit and loss account in November. As a way of showing good faith in their aims, they launched the Re:Suede, their most sustainable shoe yet.

Based on the classic design embraced by 70's B-Boys, 80's rappers and 90's indie kids, the Suede is instantly recognisable. But the shoe has been rethought from the ground up with an eye to sustainability.

The upper, sock liner, laces and sub lining are all made from completely recycled material. The sole is made from an innovative new material that mixes rubber with rice husks, saving energy both in production and transport costs. Speaking of which, the whole shoe is much lighter than the original, cutting down on emission costs. Puma estimates that 15 tons of carbon emissions will be saved with every 10,000 pairs of Re:Suedes shipped. They're even shipped in bags instead of boxes, lessening the impact still further.

The Re-Suede shoe is a great example of how to recreate a classic brand and bring it bang up to date. It'll be interesting to see how easy it is to get hold of them in the shops, although they do seem to be easily available online and at posh trainer stores like Size?

But this isn't the only big news from Puma. In a recent interview, CEO Franz Koch announced the launch of a new line of completely compostible shoes and clothing, likely to drop next year. It looks like the Oat Shoe model of throwing your kicks on the compost heap instead of in the bin is getting closer to becoming the norm.

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