The Groundbreakers: The executives behind key changes at influential companies
Chief sourcing officer, Puma
Puma chief sourcing officer Anne-Laure Descours is bringing sustainable materials sourcing to the forefront of conversations within the activewear industry. At the inaugural Puma Conference of the People in London in August 2022, Descours launched a conversation around the brand’s sustainable sourcing strategy to a room of Gen Zers, offering transparency and direct communication. Also this year, along with Kering, Puma ranked highest among fashion brands for sustainability and supply chain transparency in Business of Fashion’s Sustainability Index.
Since joining Puma 10 years ago, Descours has focused on establishing a responsible and robust supply chain. “Sourcing has been a major part of my intense daily life for nearly 30 years,” said Descours, whose resume includes stints at supply chain management company Li & Fung and French retailer Camaieu. “Especially since the start of Covid, the impact and importance of sourcing has grown; orchestrating a [responsible] supply chain and working with suppliers collaboratively around sustainability in the supply chain is critical for any organization.”
She added, “Working with suppliers used to be very transactional. It was about chasing cents that could be saved on a project. Now, the sourcing dynamic has nothing to do with [seeking] the cheapest price; it’s about [securing] the right price with the right partner. You need to work together to establish a long-term shared vision.”
Investing in innovative materials is a growing focus for Puma. In April 2022, it introduced its biodegradable Re:Suede shoe, as well as its Re:Jersey recycling program enabling its sustainable ReGen product range.
Sustainability-focused strategies will become increasingly important as the company ups its focus on Gen Z.
In its 2022 third-quarter earnings report, Puma revealed an 18.2% revenue increase for the year to date, to $6.2 billion, and a record sales quarter.
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