Nike Space Hippie sneakers made from leftovers found on factory floors

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In the third of five Green equipment features – where we showcase a consumer product that’s been made in an environmentally friendly way – we take a look at Nike’s Space Hippie sneakers, made from recycled waste including plastic water bottles, t-shirts and textile waste .

Nike used waste collected from factories and what it calls recycled “space waste yarn” to create the Space Hippie sneakers as part of a project to reduce the carbon impact of its products. There are four different models in the collection, called Space Hippie 01, 02, 03 and 04, but we are focusing on the original, the 01.

The concept began in 2017 when new research at Nike enabled the Oregon-based company to identify CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent – a standard unit for measuring the carbon footprint) individual material emissions and manufacturing processes in the assembly of a shoe.

Nike claims that 90 percent of the Space Hippie’s upper, which resembles their Flyknit design, is made from recycled materials and woven from “space waste yarn.” The central, shock-absorbing part of the sneaker is made from surplus ZoomX foam from the production of the sneaker. Nike Vaporfly 4% running shoe. This lightweight foam is reused in a method that only produces about half the carbon dioxide equivalent of creating typical Nike foams.

“Due to the high bar that we had already set using recycled materials like polyester and techniques like Flyknit, we had to find something with even lower impact and that resulted in us wasting as a resource. Noah Murphy-Reinhertz, Nike Sustainable The design manager said Forbes.

“It was just as important not to overtreat these materials and not put carbon emissions back into the equation. So you can see how that led to a raw expression of the quality of the materials and the innovations needed to bring them together in a performance shoe.

The outsole of every Space Hippie shoe is made from “crater foam,” made from a blend of standard Nike foams and 15% recycled rubber that has been ground into granules, the Nike Grind brand. . In addition to reducing the use of virgin materials, allowing for a reduced carbon footprint, the use of Nike Grind means that each shoe’s midsole features a unique texture and color combination.

“This is where we were inspired by the ISRU [In-Situ Resource Utilization], a concept of space exploration that proposes to use materials of local origin on other planets, but to integrate them into habitats and other necessities through high technology, ”said Murphy-Reinhertz. “Likewise, we have turned to the abundant resource of waste and transformed it through innovation. “

The Oregon-based sportswear manufacturer has an impressive history of corporate social responsibility. In 1994 he started his Grinding program, which turns used training shoes and surplus equipment into running tracks and since 2010, it prevents 7.5 billion plastic bottles from ending up in waterways or landfills thanks to recycled shoes and clothing like the Nike VaporMax Random, which is made with over 75 percent recycled materials.

“We [Nike] We have incorporated sustainability for decades, not only in our operations, but also in how we innovate to reduce our environmental footprint while providing high performance products for people, ”said Murphy-Reinhertz.

“Now we articulate this process as Move to Zero. This is our journey towards a zero carbon, zero waste future. It’s a bold commitment, but we can’t just sit back and wait for solutions, at Nike we want to create them. But the most important thing we can do today is listen to the science goals to push back climate change and take action now. “

So what do they like to wear? We had the opportunity to test the original variation, the 01. They are catchy, there is no doubt. The Flyknit style upper stretches a bit and there is no tongue, which means the Space Hippie forms a nice waterproof seal around your ankle … once you actually set foot there -inside. It does take a bit of effort and probably means that over time the first thing that will result is the buckle at the back which is essential when trying to squeeze in.

They’re comfortable, but anyone with wide feet will have a bit of a hard time. And tragically, this isn’t just a review of Nike, few – very few – shoe makers cater to wide feet. I’m a 6 foot rugby player – a first row rugby player – and I can pretty much boot my foot in a US 11½. I will never be able to wear socks too, there just isn’t enough room in the width.

I have a pair of Brooks running shoes because they fit extra wide, although they look ugly and there is little to choose from. But comfort comes first when it comes to running. My Space Hippies are therefore now my official beach shoes, which is perfect since I won’t need socks. If you don’t suffer from having wide feet, the Space Hippie would make a great running shoe while still looking pretty groovy.

The Hippie Space 01 comes in a cooler, made from recycled cardboard, of course, and a tote style shoe bag. they retail for $ 130.


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