Can you throw old sneakers in the green bin?

A second life for your sport shoes, not as something to wear or use, but as a fertilizer for your garden. It can potentially help to diminish billions of kilo’s of waste. On average we throw away approximately 500 kilo’s of rubbish a year. A part is being recycled, maar a larger part has to be burnt or dumped. Textile, like clothes and shoes usually go in the incinerator. Also a lot of products that are being sold als ‘biodegradable’, do not biodegrade fast enough and end up in the incinerator.

Sport company PUMA has set themselves a challenge: to develop sneakers that, when worn out, turn into compost.

Two years ago, PUMA started a pilot project in circularity. They developed a new version of their classic SUEDE sneaker and named it RE:SUEDE. The materials were carefully chosen, on comfort and on compostability.

Could the RE:SUEDE  turn into compost after wearing?

An exciting experiment for Nera as well, because the upper is made with Zeology Suede.

It turned into a success for PUMA and Zeology.

The RE:SUEDE could not be processed under the standard operating procedures for industrial composting, but the shoes did eventually turn into compost,” said Anne-Laure Descours, Chief Sourcing Officer at PUMA.

While all RE:SUEDE materials can decompose, the sole of the RE:SUEDE required more pre-processing and additional time in the composting tunnel to completely break down,” said Marthien van Eersel Manager Materials & Innovations at Ortessa.

Watch PUMA’s journey:

Throwing your sport shoes in the organic waste now, is not a good idea. But, experiments like these could be the beginning of a separate waste stream in which product are being processed that need a longer time to compost.