Sportswear Company Puma Predicts Going Leather-Free

The chairman of the European sporting goods company cites environmental damage for the future shift.


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In a recent interview with Financial Times at the Rio +20 United Nations Conference, Puma Supervisory Board Chairman Jochen Zeitz predicts that in the future, the company’s shoes will no longer be made of leather. Puma, Europe’s second-largest maker of sporting goods, currently uses cowhide in its shoes and soccer cleats, which a 2011 “environmental profit and loss account” report found is the largest contributor to the company’s carbon footprint. Zeitz, who introduced Meat-Free Mondays to Puma in 2009, believes the fabric’s detrimental impact to the environment will lead to the use of synthetic leather alternatives. “We should eat less meat, all of us, and we should use less leather,” Zeitz says in the interview. “I mean, that’s reality.”