The Clever Little Bag — Puma’s New Take on the Shoe Box

So simple. So classy. One wonders, why didn’t anyone think of it before?

This week, Reuters reported sporting goods maker Puma will be switching over to eco-friendly packaging for its sneakers next year to reduce its carbon footprint.

The new packaging, which will roll out in the second half of 2011, consists of a cardboard frame that surrounds the shoes that are placed inside a reusable shoe bag. Puma teamed up with fuseproject, an award-winning industrial design and branding firm founded by Yves Behar, to create it.


On the fuseproject website, there are pictures and back story on this “clever little bag.” It is describes as being “an iconic brand element upon leaving the store as it replaces the plastic shopping bag, and it is also used for shoe storage in travel suitcases.”

  • By providing structure to a cardboard sheet, 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.
  • The cardboard structure is die cut from one flat piece of material and has no additional printing or assembly, thus it can be returned to the stream faster and more efficiently. The structure was created with four walls that taper in to allow for secured stacking, another important element left over from the original shoebox.
  • The bag is non-woven which means less work and waste (it is stitched with heat). It protects the shoes from dust and dirt in the warehouse and during shipping.
  • The bag is made of non-woven polyester consisting of recycled PET, and eventually is also recyclable.

The Environmental Story: In brief, Puma told Reuters that this move would save 8,500 tonnes of paper — the weight of more than 1,400 adult elephants(!). It also means a reduction of 60 percent in water and energy used during the production process and the amount needed for transportation due to lighter packaging.


The Cool Factor: The “clever little bag” is an iconic brand element upon leaving the store as it replaces the plastic shopping bag, and it is also used for shoe storage in travel suitcases.

For sure, the bag is cool and one can easily see it becoming a status symbol. Then again, that’s not too surprising. Yves Behar is the designer behind the Aliph Jawbone Bluetooth headset . The fuseproject team was also involved in creating the first lighting product for Herman Miller.


Will it Save the Company Money? In the Reuter’s story, Puma Chief Executive Jochen Zeitz said, “To begin with, we don’t expect to save costs with this. It may even have a negative impact in the short term. But over the long run, there should be cost savings.”

It isn’t necessarily about money.  It is about something bigger… much, much bigger.  Clearly, this is one of those business moves that will have long lasting repercussions.


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