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Failure of Puma's biodegradable range doesn't mean eco-fashion is dead

October 10, 2015

Failure of Puma's biodegradable range doesn't mean eco-fashion is dead

Esha Chhabra
Saturday 10 October 2015 08.00 BST

After launching with a blaze of celebration, sports brand Puma’s new eco-friendly range of gear was meant to be the moment ethical fashion went mainstream. A shoe, jacket and backpack made of biodegradable and recyclable materials, put on sale in 2013, were part of the company’s effort to minimise the environmental impact of its manufacturing process.

But two years on and the InCycle line as it was called has failed. In a statement released by Puma in November 2014, the company had warned that its retailers had not ordered the product and so it was only on sale in Puma stores, “where we had poor demand as well”.

As of 2015, further research and development of new designs has also now come to a halt. The company says: “We will now explore what to do with the collection after 2015.”

Not everyone is downbeat about the failure. “It doesn’t necessarily follow that because a one-off biodegradable shoe collection failed all biodegradable fashion products will meet that same fate,” said Carolina Cantor, co-founder of Shop Ethica, a New York-based online marketplace for sustainable fashion brands.

She argues the success of biodegradable products may not be about size or scale alone, and that smaller and newer brands often have the advantage.

Read more at The Guardian.

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