Courtesy Nike With its embrace of foams and plastics and a hype-driven culture that encourages disposability, the sneaker industry is not exactly known for sustainability. But a new skunkworks project by Nike proves that kicks made primarily out of recycled trash can reduce waste—and look really cool, too. The Nike Space Hippie collection, dropping this month, comprises four raw-but-futuristic shoe designs, manufactured with over 50% recycled materials by weight—Nike’s lowest carbon footprint ever. “Space Hippie is rebelliously optimistic,” says John Hoke, chief design officer at Nike. “It is about figuring out how to make the most with the least material, the least energy, and the least carbon.” Spearheaded by Noah Murphy-Reinhertz, sustainable design lead at Nike’s Innovation Kitchen, the Space Hippie project draws its inspiration from in-situ resource utilization (ISRU), the self-sufficiency practices pioneered by NASA on long-term space expeditions, where resupply shipments aren’t feasible. While in the case of a Mars mission, ISRU might mean creating building materials from planetary dust or fuel from solar rays, at Nike, it means leveraging waste as a resource . Courtesy Nike The Space Hippie team reexamined the company’s sneaker design and manufacturing process, developing ways to transform off-cuts, discarded shoes, and […]


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