Nike’s Most Sustainable Sneaks Yet Are a Byproduct of Olympic Innovation

Introducing the Space Hippie collection

Nike’s Most Sustainable Sneaks Yet Are a Byproduct of Olympic Innovation
Nike
By Tanner Garrity / February 6, 2020 12:28 pm

In September of 2016, Nike officials traveled to Japan to meet with the Tokyo Olympic Committee. Though the Rio Games were barely out of the news cycle, preparation for Tokyo 2020 had already begun. Nike’s gear-design marching orders were made clear: A) remember how hot Japan gets in August (low 90s, super humid), and B) prioritize sustainable materials (a rarity for Olympic performance apparel in the past).

Some 40 months later, Nike’s delivered on those requests. The brand officially previewed their Olympic collection yesterday, and the line includes Vapormax sneakers that uses 75 percent recycled manufacturing waste, 100-percent recycled jacket and pants for the podium, and a new, revolutionary fabric throughout called Aeroswift, which was developed with nanotechnology, and facilitates airflow against the skin.

Lucky for us non-Olympians, it appears all that in-studio experimentation with new-age materials also conceived a fresh-as-hell side hustle. Nike just announced the release of the Space Hippie collection, a line of lifestyle sneaks that’d look at home on the feet of Mars teens in 2120. The blue, orange, gray-speckled trainers are easily Nike’s most sustainable sneaker ever, and were made from a Flyknit-style weave called rPoly, which includes recycled plastic bottles, T-shirts and yarn scraps. Recycled foam and rubber scraps comprise the rest of the shoe.

The Space Hippie Collection includes three different iterations — the Space Hippie 3 is the funkiest — and all will be available sometime this spring, so stay tuned. We don’t know pricing yet, but a lower carbon footprint for the feet, that doesn’t sacrifice an ounce of style (seriously, these’ll rake compliments this summer) is pretty priceless.

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