Puma gives leather a red card

Multinational sportswear company Puma has gone in to bat for the environment and animals, confirming it is looking to reduce its use of leather.

PUBLISHED ON: 2 July 2012

Puma's chairman, Jochen Zeitz, has identified leather as the biggest culprit in the company's environmental footprint. "We all know that cattle and beef are among the biggest contributors to carbon emissions... We should eat less meat, all of us, and we should use less leather, I mean that's reality."

A win for animals:

indian-cow-long-trek.jpgPuma pouncing on eco-friendly alternatives to leather will not only be a big win for the environment, it will spare millions of cattle from the cruelty of the leather industry.

Leather is not always just a by-product of the meat industry. In fact, around the world, millions animals are raised and killed solely for the skins on their backs - sometimes in appalling conditions. Much of the leather sold in Australia comes from countries like India and China, where animals have no legal protection.

chilli-rubbed-in-eyes-indian-cows.jpgInvestigations of the Indian leather trade have exposed exhausted cattle being beaten, having their tails broken and chilli rubbed in their eyes to force them onwards in gruelling overland treks. Their final moments are often even more grim - their throats cut while fully conscious.

A drop in Puma's demand for leather will save countless animals from a similar fate.

Puma's eco-scorecard:

Puma's chairman is widely regarded as a pioneer in environmentally conscious business, even leading by personal example. In recent years, Mr Zeitz has reduced his own meat consumption by 80 per cent and has implemented a range of environmentally beneficial programs at Puma, including Meat-Free Mondays (an international campaign championed by Paul McCartney) in the company's cafeterias.

usain_bolt.jpgPuma's move away from leather will reduce its reliance on the livestock industry - an industry that was singled out by the UN as being "one of the most significant contributors to today's most serious environmental problems."

Puma-sponsored athletes like sprinter Usain Bolt, the Italian football team and the West Coast Eagles may soon be sporting high-tech footwear made from materials that are better for the environment and aren't produced at the expense of animals.

How you can help:

  • Please take a moment to show support for Puma's animal-friendly plan to shift away from leather, by email (), Facebook or on Twitter.
  • Like Puma you can make a difference for animals and the environment when you're choosing new clothing and footwear. Fortunately, you can now find leather-free footwear and accessories available in most department stores. You don't even need to step out your front door — there are some great online stores that specialise in cruelty-free shoes, including:
    Vegan Wares (Melbourne)
    Vegan Style (Melbourne)
    Moo Shoes (US-based)
    Vegetarian Shoe Company (UK-based)
    Discover 18 more cruelty-free shoe stores online here.

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