A big leap for sustainable golf wear

PUMA is investing heavily in switching to sustainable production, and the company has set several ambitious goals for 2025. Golf wear is one of the areas where the sports giant has made the most progress, with an average of 90 percent recycled material in all newly manufactured garments.

The leaping cougar is an iconic logo on millions of pieces of clothing, shoes, footballs and other items. And right now, PUMA is making a big leap forward with their sustainability efforts. The group has set a number of ambitious targets in ten different sustainability areas. These are to be met by 2025. The slogans are “Forever Better” and “There Is Only One Forever – Let’s Make it Better.”

Golf wear made from 90 ⁠percent recycled material
One of the areas is reuse. For example, PUMA aims to reduce its waste by 50 percent and increase the proportion of recycled polyester to 75 percent. But when it comes to golf wear, PUMA has already surpassed that goal:

“All Mattr polo shirts and Dealer/101-bottoms are now made from 100 percent recycled materials, as are all pieces in the Cloudspun collection. On average, PUMA’s golfwear and shoes consist of 90 percent recycled material. We hope to reach 100 percent by 2025,” says Grant Knudson, Vice President of Product & Marketing for PUMA Golf.

Focus on each link in the supply chain
Increased use of recycled materials is, of course, only part of the work to switch to organic, climate-smart and socially sustainable production and operations. For PUMA, it’s very important to build sustainable partnerships throughout the supply chain: from 100 percent sustainably grown cotton and leather tanned without chrome to scrapping plastic bags in stores, just to mention a few efforts.

“It’s about seeing the whole chain and working with each link. Every ounce of the 30 000 tons of cotton that PUMA uses each year is now sustainably grown. That’s a huge step forward for us. To mention another thing, an increasing share of our small price tags are made from recycled cardboard. Everything counts, everything is important.”

It makes sense that Grant Knudson wants to emphasize PUMA’s sustainability work. But he doesn’t do it to throw competitors or the industry under the bus. Instead, he wants cooperation.

“I think the entire sports fashion industry is making progress in becoming more sustainable. Most big brands prioritize sustainability today, and that’s absolutely necessary. We’d like to be a leader in that transition and continue to drive it forward, because we all have a long way to go.”

Sustainable collections that inspire
In recent years, PUMA has launched several collections with a particular focus on sustainability. The clothes in the Better Sportswear series, for example, are made from recycled waste from their own production, while the Childhood Dreams collection works with plastic-free fabrics, recycled rubber and polyester and reduced use of textile paint. The products in the First Mile series are made from textile locally collected for recycling in the manufacturing countries of Taiwan, Haiti and Honduras.

“We also have RE:Collection, a collection focused on innovative solutions for the use of recycled materials and with distinctive design details. We’re launching a line of golf shoes in 2024 as part of the RE:Collection,” says Grant Knudson, and adds:

“Our special collections with focus on sustainability are designed to inspire our customers and to test new methods and solutions. At the same time, they only make up a small part of our total sustainability efforts. For me, it’s especially important that now, our customers can trust that all of our golf products are sustainably manufactured – or soon will be.”