If you want top performance matched with an eco-design focus then have a good look at the Nike Considered range of athletic shoes and outerwear.
The Thinking Behind Sustainable Shoes
In the 1990’s Nike developed the Reuse-A-Shoe program where consumers would drop off old athletic shoes and Nike would then grind up the material, mix it with manufacturing scrap and reuse the matter to manufacture new sports surfaces. To current day, they have since recycled more than 21 million pairs of athletic shoes. In the late 1990’s, Nike began to phase out a number of environmental improprieties, such as the use of volatile organic compounds in its shoes, global warming gases in the cushioning soles and the use of Polyvinyl Chloride in footwear. Then, in the early 2000’s, a conversation started around minimizing waste and using recycled products in the shoes. Resulting from this, the Nike Woven was made from fewer adhesives, the Standoff Singlet was created from 75% recycled plastic bottles and, by 2007, more than 50% of Nike footwear contained an improved rubber with fewer toxins.
The Story Of Considered
“As we look at how we design and develop products and run our global business, it’s not enough to be solving the challenges of today,” explains Nike President and CEO Mark Parker. “We are designing for the sustainable economy of tomorrow, and for us that means using fewer resources, more sustainable materials and renewable energy to produce new products.” The vision behind the Nike Considered products was to create high performance shoes that minimize environmental impacts. This has been achieved by keeping wastes to a minimum, using eco-friendly materials, and eliminating toxins. With some of the world’s best footwear creators on their team, Nike is able to innovate early in the design process to incorporate sustainability at all stages of manufacture.
Nike launched their first sustainable product range with the Considered Boot. The main focus was the single shoe lace which was woven in between the different leather parts. This design has minimized the use of adhesives in a shoe. The Zcezdochka design was a real achievement in terms of the modular nature of the shoe, which improved the ability to recycle components. For the Bejing Olympics, the Considered range provided 24% of the entire apparel range and Nike claims that this diverted over 20,000 pounds of polyester waste from landfills. The latest part of this story is that many of the world’s leading soccer players were wearing the most eco-friendly kit in football's history at the World Cup in South Africa in early 2010. All of Nike’s national soccer teams, which included Brazil, wore tops that were made entirely from recycled polyester. In addition, the jerseys that were sold through all retail outlets helped to divert millions of plastic bottles from landfills.
A Sustainable Focus To Shoe Design
Would it be a surprise to find out that Nike is the second largest purchaser in the world of organic cotton? How about that they have reduced their annual CO2 emissions to 18% below their 1998 levels? Nike, the company, has looked at their own sustainability. The European Headquarters runs on 100 percent renewable energy. Their distribution center in Belgium operates solely on six wind turbines. According to Nike, “our vision is to design products that are fully closed loop: produced using the fewest possible materials and designed for easy disassembly that allow them to be recycled into new product or safely returned to nature at the end of their life.”
The driver behind the Considered range is incorporating sustainability without sacrificing performance. Nike is known around the world for their high performance and innovative designs. They are developing ground-breaking processes for their shoes which will increasingly see fantastic athletic performance and at the same time respect the very environment many of us like to run and jog in. For more information on the Considered range have a look at the http://www.nike.com/nikeos/p/gamechangers/en_US/considered.