Nike Sustainability

Do the planet (and your rotation) a favor with the recycled Nike Sportswear Recycled Canvas collection

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Sustainable creation and design has been on Nike’s radar for decades. I mean, we’ve only got one Planet Earth, right? We’ve gotta look after it.

The Swoosh agrees. As far back as 1983, when Nike kicked off the Reuse-A-Shoe recycling program, the Oregon-based footwear giant has had an eye on the impact its manufacturing has on the environment.

Fast forward to the mid-2000s. Nike’s Innovation Kitchen research department cooked up an initiative known as Considered, which gave birth to a line of experimental footwear designs that you might not ordinarily identify as Nike shoes.

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NOT FOR SALE – Nike Considered Mowabb II

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The aim of Considered — whose creation involved sneaker industry legend Jeff Staple (of Pigeon Dunk fame) — was to create footwear that minimized environmental impact through the use of recycled materials, less toxic adhesives and glues, and product inefficiencies.

Considered was wrapped into Nike’s ACG (All Conditions Gear) outdoor gear program in 2007, and while the initiative’s name only lives on in the memories of scholars of the Swoosh, its practices continue today.

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Comforts [3/3] ¬ • 2006 Nike Considered Humara – Anthracite/Black-Spanish Moss (313658-001) • More than a decade before the recent and highly anticipated ‘Space Hippie’ line of footwear, Nike was actively venturing into the world of environmentally sustainable product with its Considered range. Pioneered by design legends including Steve McDonald (@mcsteve), Mike Aveni and Tinker Hatfield, the Considered concept emerged from Nike’s commitment to more efficient design and construction aimed at reducing environmental impact. Many factors helped bring Considered products closer to this goal – all materials were sourced within 200 miles of production factories; snap-fitted soles minimised the need for toxic adhesives; leather colouring used an eco-friendly vegetable tanning process; and the general design of each silhouette made for easier recycling of the product at the end of its life-cycle. Ultimately, Nike Considered would pave the way for key technologies like Flyknit and Nike Grind, both of which now play a significant role in Nike’s Move to Zero initiative. ~ The Considered Humara shown here offers a sustainable re-work of Peter Fogg's (@peterfogg) timeless Air Humara trail runner from 1997. Featuring veg-tanned, chrome-free leather overlays and hemp laces on a P.E.T. (polyethylene terephthalate) mesh upper – the same material used to make plastic bottles/Flyknit – it also utilised a durable, snap-fitted Phylite sole cage unit to provide lightweight cushioning and support without adhesives. I was fortunate enough to find this pair in deadstock condition with its box, as the message on the lid remains pertinent: ‘Consider history, consider the present and consider the future’. With global demand for resources and the resultant damage from production energy and waste remaining high, every individual and corporation would do well to consider the environmental footprint we continue to make on this earth. Considered was certainly a step in the right direction. • Swipe through for more detailed shots, including the message on the box lid!

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Take, for instance, Flyknit: the stretchy material used in the uppers of so many recognizable Nike silhouettes, from Air Force 1 to VaporMax. That’s a Considered byproduct which was designed to reduce the use of glues that bonded the different elements of sneakers together.

Perhaps the most attention-grabbing product from the Considered stable is the 2008 Air Jordan XXIII, the edition that bore Michael Jordan’s famed jersey number and marked the 23rd anniversary of the release of his first signature shoe in 1985. Produced under the Considered design concept, Nike’s aim was to create minimal waste during the production process and create a “sustainable template” for Jordan Brand to use for years to come.

The environmentally conscious approach has not waned over the years, even if the Considered branding has faded out of the picture. Amid a turbulent year around the world, 2020 has seen Nike unveil some immensely popular sneakers — both new silhouettes and reinventions of classics — that fit snugly under the blanket of sustainability.

Take, for instance, the Space Hippie line, which Nike brass has referred to as “an artifact from the future” and has consistently sold out on launch days. Made from materials from the Swoosh’s cutting room floor, the funky and futuristic designs prove that recycling is cool as hell.

The Air VaporMax 2020 Flyknit has also done its part for Mother Earth. Each shoe is made from at least 50 percent recycled content by weight, and incorporates a full-length VaporMax Air unit for the first time.

Now Nike is going several steps further with the launch of a deeper collection of Nike sustainable products with a range of its iconic sneakers made with recycled canvas uppers, Flyleather and Crater foam.

The Nike Sportswear Recycled Canvas collection includes Nike Air Force 1 ’07, Nike Air Max 90, Nike Air Max 95, Nike Daybreak-Type and Nike Cortez, all of which are made with at least 20 percent recycled materials. Two new Space Hippie 04 colorways for men and women launch the same day.

To complete the look, the collection also includes shirts, hoodies, crewneck sweaters, jackets and pants for those mindful fall ‘fits.

You’ll be able to do your part for the planet and boost your rotation on 9/20 when the Nike Sportswear Recycled Canvas collection launches on FinishLine.com.

We’ve recently partnered with Afterpay and Klarna, giving you the option to cop now and pay over time. Take advantage and build the closet of your dreams.

Read more about Nike’s sustainability moves

  • How Nike’s Considered Line Changed the Company for Good (Sole Collector)
  • Nike, Converse and Jordan Brand Discuss the Future of Sustainable Design and Innovation (Nike News)
  • 7 Ways Nike Is Taking Action for a Better, More Circular Future (Nike News)
  • Interview with ACG design director Bob Mervar and Nike senior designer Peter Fogg (Sneaker Freaker)