Nike recently released marketing on their new Space Hippie sneakers made from “trash”, or "Space Junk".
By trash they mean that the upper part of the shoe is made from rPoly - which consists of recycled water bottles, yarn scraps, and other fabric scraps that would normally be thrown away in a factory are now being collected and made into something new. The sole of the sneakers are made of 155 Nike grind Rubber - which is a program by Nike that up-cycles it's rubber. The sole is combined with 100% recycled foam as well. This makes each sneaker slightly unique but all sit together on a shelf from a marketing stand point.
This is a big step towards Nike's "Move to Zero" initiative, which is to eventually have no carbon footprint and no waste. Nike also mentions a lot about the importance of circular design (finally), and how every aspect of the sneaker's design was thought of from an environmental standpoint.
Nike is already using renewable energy in all facilities in North America and by the end of 2020 intends to be 100% renewable energy in Europe as well.
"We believe that the future for product will be circular" - Seana Hannah VP of Sustainable Innovation
Nike is one of the few companies using it's name to do better in the design process to have as little of impact on the environment. I personally like that they are implementing these sustainable strategies into other best selling sneakers such as sneakers with air soles. Since 2008, Nike has been using 50% of recycled material to create air soles, and finds a way to re-use 90% of waste in factories. Nike's Flyknit is specifically engineered to use up to 60% less waste than traditional sneaker manufacturing. Nike claims that this technology has diverted 10 million pounds of waste from going into a landfill.
While there is a lot of information on Nike's blog on the new Space Hippie sneaker's - it doesn't talk too much in depth beyond the materials. Are there dyes or chemicals being used? Can this sneaker be recycled into a second life? What happens if it is thrown out? How long will it take to decompose? What about the shoelace and the materials that are used to make?
To read more on Nike's sustainable materials and initiatives click here.
There are 4 different silhouettes, called Space Hippie 01, 02, 03, and 04. Each style reaches a different type of consumer- from a classic athletic sneaker to a more fashion Balenciaga vibe, to a Fila chunky sole vibe. All styles lean towards a more masculine or gender neutral in my opinion. Light greys and blues with a pop of construction orange and white with a speckled sole that looks intentional, but is actually because of the up-cycled 155 Nike Grind.
"Space Hippie is also an idea about figuring out how to make the most with the least material, the least energy, and the least carbon"
Nike has yet to release a specific release date or price- just that all styles will be available to Nike members, at the Nike House of Innovation flagship locations, and select retailers.
You can sign up for email updates on the Space Hippie sneaker's here.
Which one is you favorite?