Recycled materials in sneakers are taking over the industry, but what if the entire shoe could be recycled? This week, PUMA unveiled a new project, hoping to turn the classic Suede into a circular recycling icon.

Sustainability is the name of the game in footwear right now, with nearly every brand unveiling some sort of recycling program into their production methods over the last two years. This week, PUMA has lifted the curtain on their latest initiative in circular production methods, showing off the new Re:Suede, a version of the classic PUMA Suede constructed from suede tanned by Zeology, a sustainable tanning group, biodegradable TPE and hemp fibers. The project will kick off early in 2022, delivering several hundred pairs of the Re:Suede to testers around the world, who will wear them for several months before returning them to PUMA. Then, the German brand will attempt an industrial biodegradation process, to see whether or not the Re:Suede can produce recycled fibers of a high quality to be reused in the future.

While this is not the first attempt at a circular recycling process in the footwear world, it is always interesting to watch brands try something new, especially in the name of a more healthy environment. PUMA currently has no plans for a global release of the recycled Suede, so we will have to wait until late next year to see how the Re:Suede project shakes out.