Puma tests garment-to-garment recycling with Re:Jersey
Puma’s new recycling project Re: Jersey manufactures football kits, which feature logos, embroidery and club badges that would typically hinder the recycling process, into a major ingredient for creating yarn for new clothing.
In the recycling process used for the Re:Jersey project, the clothes are chemically broken down into their main components (depolymerization). The colors are then filtered and the material is chemically reassembled to create a yarn (repolymerization) that has the same performance characteristics as virgin polyester, Puma explains.
“We wanted to develop ways to reduce our impact on the environment, respect resources and reuse materials,” says Howard Williams, director of wearable technology at Puma. “The knowledge we have gained with Re:Jersey will help us develop more circular products in the future.”
While Puma football kits on the market today are already made from 100% recycled polyester, Re:Jersey kits are made with 75% reused football jerseys. The remaining 25% comes from Seaqual marine plastic, a sustainable and fully traceable raw material from the Seaqual initiative that is made from marine waste, or in some cases end-of-life fishing nets or other plastics used in aquaculture (such as those used in mussel and oyster farming).
Products made under the Re:Jersey project will be worn on the pitch during pre-match warm-ups by Puma Clubs Manchester City, AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund and Olympique de Marseille. The teams will wear the shirts ahead of their respective league matches at the end of April and May, starting with Manchester City against Watford on April 23.
The Re:Jersey pilot experience is part of Puma’s Circular Lab and its Forever Better sustainability platform. This follows the Re:Sweden initiative announced last year where Puma announced that it had developed an experimental version of its Suede sneaker to make it biodegradable.
Puma says its goal is to meet the growing demand for sustainable products for a better future. The Puma group distributes its products in more than 120 countries and employs more than 16,000 people worldwide.
In February, Puma hailed the highest sales and EBIT in its history due to what it called the brand’s continued momentum and operational flexibility. Louise Deglise-Favre, associate apparel analyst at GlobalData, said at the time: “Based on a two-year comparison, Puma’s full-year sales increased 23.7% due to continued demand for fashion apparel. sport due to continued hybrid work and the resilience of its supply chains amid global disruptions.
Deglise-Favre added that Puma has handled supply chain issues “remarkably well”, particularly with its suppliers in Southeast Asia, where its close relationships have allowed it to successfully weather sporadic lockdowns and manufacturing delays in the first half.