Dec 11 2023
After successfully composting a version of its famous Suede sneakers, Puma is expanding the application of its textile recycling innovation Re:Fibre.
Since the start of Puma’s pilot project in 2022 which focused on recycled training jerseys for sponsored football teams, the brand has used Re:Fibre technology to produce jerseys for supporters of the Swiss and Moroccan national teams for the Women’s World Cup, as well as the third kit for the 2023/24 season for Girona FC.
Next year, Puma will produce all official football supporters’ jerseys, including for the European Championship and Copa América, from recycled materials from used clothing and production waste rather than plastic bottles. Home supporters’ jerseys, such as those of Fenerbahçe SK and Shakhtar Donetsk, are not part of this program.
With this program, Puma intends to develop a long-term recycling solution for textile waste. In addition, technology should help make the fashion industry less dependent on plastic bottles, the main material for making recycled polyester for textiles.
Because the Re:Fibre process recycles all types of polyester materials – from production scraps to used clothing to defective products – it is possible to create new textiles in every color imaginable from old clothes, the company explains.
The process takes place in four stages. It begins with the collection and sorting of textile waste and other materials previously considered unusable, then the collected materials are cut up and mixed. This is followed by dissolution, filtering and polymerization: the melting of the dissolved polyester and the extraction of the dyes through a chemical recycling process.
Through fusion, new polymers can finally be spun and sewn to create clothing. According to Puma, the resulting Re:Fibre material is like new and can be recycled endlessly.
“We want to produce 100% of the polyester used in our products from textile waste. The quantities of textile waste in landfills represent a risk to the environment. This is why new production methods as well as a business model granting greater importance to the circular economy are among the priorities of our sustainability strategy”, explains Anne-Laure Descours, director of sourcing at Puma.
A film can be viewed on the Puma website to discover the entire process, down to the molecular chemistry processes.
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