Mar 30, 2022
by James Roberts
PUMA Gives Soccer Jerseys the Circular Treatment
by James Roberts
Mar 30, 2022

PUMA seems to be on a mission to make the beautiful game of soccer even more beautiful with its recent string of Earth-friendly designs and products. At the beginning of this month, we took a look at the brand’s new vegan and recycled soccer boots. Now, PUMA has announced a project that recycles existing soccer jerseys to produce new ones.

The innovative new project is called RE:JERSEY. It uses chemicals to break down garments into their components in a process called depolymerization. Then the color is stripped from the material before being chemically put back together as yarns, which are used to make the new jerseys. PUMA says that the resulting material “has the same performance characteristics as virgin polyester,” which makes a strong case for circular production models.

The new process means that the whole garment can be recycled, including any logos, embroideries and club badges, which had previously prevented full garment recycling.

RE:JERSEY kits are not entirely made with repurposed soccer jerseys. 75 percent of the material used is as described above. The remaining 25 percent comes from SEAQUAL MARINE PLASTIC1, a sustainable and traceable material made from ocean plastic waste.

So, where can you see the RE:JERSEY products? It seems that for now, the project is being kept for the professionals. European clubs sponsored by PUMA such as Manchester City, AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund and Olympique de Marseille will wear the jerseys on-pitch during pre-match warm-ups in the coming months.

However, it’s worth noting that PUMA soccer kits on the market are already made with 100% recycled polyester (an impressive and admirable statistic), so if you want a more eco-minded soccer jersey, PUMA seems like a good bet.

The RE:JERSEY project is part of the German brand’s Circular Lab platform which piloted a biodegradable version of the iconic PUMA SUEDE at the end of last year.

“With the RE:JERSEY project, we wanted to develop ways to reduce our environmental impact, respect resources and reuse materials,” said Howard Williams, Director Apparel Technology at PUMA. “The insights we gained with RE:JERSEY will help us develop more circular products in the future.”

If PUMA can roll out circular products on the scale it’s managed with its recycled polyester soccer kits, it’ll be a big player making a big difference in the global sports game.

For more sustainable soccer designs, take a look at the new collection from adidas by Stella McCartney for Arsenal Women.