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Sustainable strides: PUMA’s journey in fashion leadership

Embark on a thought-provoking expedition into sustainability within the fashion industry with our new series on Images Business of Fashion. In this series, we traverse the intricate pathways of visionary brands committed to reshaping the narrative of fashion through sustainable initiatives. As we journey forward, we uncover the strategies and the profound ethos that propels these brands toward a greener, more responsible future.

In each installment, we unravel the layers of innovation, dedication, and conscious decision-making that define the leadership of these brands. From reimagining supply chains to championing eco-friendly materials, these trailblazers exemplify a paradigm shift towards a more sustainable and ethical fashion landscape.

This week, IMAGES Business of Fashion explores sustainability initiatives by PUMA, unveiling their innovative strides in reshaping the fashion industry.

One of the world’s leading sports brands, Puma aims to stand on the same playing field as the fastest athletes on the planet and is thus based on the very values that make an excellent athlete.

PUMAThe brand was birthed in 1919 by brothers Rudolf and Adolf Dassler in their parents’ home under the name Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory in their hometown of Herzogenaurach, Germany. The shoes gained popularity fast, with a majority of German athletes wearing Dassler spikes at the Olympic Summer Games in Amsterdam, 1928.

However, the brothers went their separate ways soon after and it was in 1948, under Rudolf Dassler that Puma was finally born. Dassler soon began collaborating with experts to create shoes for athletes and footballers and a brand was born.

Striding Ahead of Competition 

  • As of 2022, the brand has posted a revenue of over 2000 crore in India, beating all sportswear competition in the market.
  • The brand is 370 stores strong in India and has been voted the Top 20 most Trusted Brands in the country.

The India Story

Puma entered the Indian market in 2006 and began with a modest revenue of `22 crore. They were the last among competitors like Nike and Adidas to enter the market. But in 2015, Puma became the No.1 sportswear brand in India, surpassing all the other global brands.

Sustainability Pledge

Globally, Puma has pledged to produce apparel with at least 50% more sustainable material, accessories with at least 50% more sustainable material and footwear with at least one more sustainable component. For example, the brand is using undyed materials and sustainably dope dyed and digitally printed, natural fabrics to create the Puma X Central Saint Martins Future Rider Sneakers. Even the graphics on the sneakers are inspired by Cape Town water usage maps.

Using sustainable material has drastically reduced the water needed to manufacture the sneakers.

Eco-Friendly At Its Core

Puma has launched a Forever Better sustainability strategy based on its 10FOR25 targets, which were introduced in 2019, following an extensive materiality analysis and stakeholder dialog. With this strategy, Puma continues on its path to fully integrate sustainability into all its core business functions.

PUMA

The brand has identified 10 target areas in which it aims to improve its sustainability performance: Human Rights, Climate Action, Circularity, Products, Water and Air, Biodiversity, Plastic and the Oceans, Chemicals, Health & Safety as well as Fair Wages.

Recognition For Going Green

The brand’s long-term sustainability efforts continue to be externally recognized in various benchmarks and indices.

  • In 2021 Puma remained a member of the FTSE4Good Sustainability Index (sector lead).
  • It received a Triple A rating from MSCI ESG ratings as well as an ESG Prime rating from ISS.
  • It was also awarded Climate Leader status by the Financial Times and from the CDP (A- and A for Supplier Engagement).
  • It was included in the Global Top 100 most sustainable company Index by Corporate Knights.

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