Two weeks ago, Puma revealed its latest collaborative venture with Yves Behar, industrial designer and founder of fuseproject, of its eco-friendly shoebox at London's Design Museum. Determined to create a new shoebox that was more sustainable, the 21-month-long project included 40 prototypes, and multiple visits to distribution centers, manufacturing plants, storage facilities, and retail points across Europe and Asia. Named the "Clever Little Bag", the final design is a re-usable, recyclable, non-woven plastic bag that functions both as a shoebox and as a plastic retail bag. Through researching various methods of folding and shipping boxes, the "Clever Little Bag" is made by die cutting one flat piece of cardboard without any additional printing or assembly. The structure is created with four walls that taper in to allow for secured stacking, another important element left over from the original shoebox. The bag is stitched with heat, which equals less work and waste. It's made of non-woven polyester with recycled PET, and eventually can be recycled. The bag uses 65% less cardboard than the standard shoe box, has no laminated printing, no tissue paper, takes up less space and weighs less in shipping, and replaces the plastic retail bag.
As part of the PUMAVision, this is just one of the many steps it is making in order to reach it's goal to make all of its packaging materials fully sustainable by 2015. Puma CEO Jochen Zeitz states that realizing these goals will initially have a "slightly negative effect, which we've already factored into our product development costs." But "in terms of net savings in the mid to longer term, we hope that the cost effects will be neutral." By replacing their standard shoe boxes with the new redesign, Puma will be saving 8,500 tons of paper, 20 million Mega joules of electricity, 1 million liters of fuel oil, and 1 million liters of water every year. They will also save 500,000 liters of diesel during transportation; and because they no longer need traditional shopping bags, the company will also save almost 275 tons of plastic.
Understanding that sustainability is about working together, Puma's sustainability index is open to the public and available for other companies to help set global standards of compliance for defining the sustainability of a product. What is great about Puma's vision is that it really understands the importance of thinking sustainably; it is invested in the quality of our future and promotes a healthy, responsible way of living. The new packaging and distribution system is set to be effective beginning 2011.
In honor of Earth Day, which was April 22, there are also several other companies joining in on promoting an eco-friendly and sustainable lifestyle:
EDUN collaborated with Sephora to released a set of allergen-free and nature-based eyeshadow collection. The palette comes in a wooden box with an organic cotton case. In line with EDUN's company vision, the makeup collection is made in developing countries, providing opportunities for employment. $3 from every sale will go to the Wildlife Conservation Society to fund activities of the Conservation Cotton Initiative in Uganda.
If you haven't seen their posters already, H&M is working in collaboration with the Boys and Girls Club of America to collect children's clothing. Bring in any gently used children's clothing to any H&M store and receive 20% off your next purchase. Hurry because the donation drive ends tomorrow, April 29!