Yves Behar and fuseproject spent the last three years working with Puma to rethink the shoe box. The results? A design that reduces the cardboard used by 65% and water, energy, and fuel consumption during manufacturing by 60%.
"Rethinking the shoebox is an incredibly complex problem, and the cost of cardboard and the printing waste are huge, given that 80M are shipped from China each year," Béhar tells FastCompany.com. "Cargo holds in the ships can reach temperatures of 110 degrees for weeks on end, so packaging becomes an enormous problem. This solution protects the shoes, and helps stores to stock them, while saving huge costs in materials.
After spending 21 months studying box fabrication and shipping, Fuseproject realized that any improvement to that already lean system would merely be incremental. So instead, the "clever little bag" combines the two packaging components of any shoe sale--the bag and the box--with high-tech ingenuity."
While overall this is a fantastic project and idea, there are two things that strike me. The first is the time it took and Puma's dedication to sticking to it. In today's ADD world, many companies give in to pressure to push for fast answers and short-term results. Rather than caving to that pressure, Puma gave Fuseproject the time and resources they needed to really dig in and solve this problem.
The second thing that stands out is (according to Fast Company) that this is the lead project in a complete brand overhaul. Not too long ago, another global brand decided to invest a few hundred million dollars in redesigning and implementing their logo as a start to overhauling their brand. I like Puma's approach infinitely more.
For more on this, here's an interview from Contagious with Yves Behar: