Following Nike Basketball’s cosmic unity, the designers of Nike Running were motivated by a core belief within the Move to Zero initiative – Nike’s journey to zero carbon and zero waste – that a product that making the world a better place can also make an athlete a better place. Cosmic Unity set the bar very high with 25% total recycled content by weight.
“We don’t want to create shiny objects – we wanted to define our concept car as the intention of our way of thinking about performance and sustainability. Focusing on the durability of our fastest marathon shoe also means that we need everyone to make it work, from our design teams to sourcing materials to manufacturing. Rachel Bull, Senior Director of Footwear Products for Nike Running, said in a statement.
American clothing and footwear company Nike took the Air Zoom Alphafly Next Nature, its most elite performance shoe, and recreated it with circular design principles. The Alphafly Next Nature contains at least 50% total recycled content by weight, making it Nike’s most daring initiative to date to fuse durability and performance, the company said.
The Nike ZoomX midsole is made with at least 70% recycled material by weight. Bull attributes much of the magic of Nike running shoes to the ZoomX foam, dating back to Eliud Kipchoge’s daring quest to break through the 2-hour marathon barrier. If anything is wasted, she says, it’s a huge loss for people who could potentially wear these shoes on race day. One solution: Put the leftover recycled foam from the midsole back into the sock liner. Swap a part of the shoe that symbolizes so much potential for the body.
This strategy of using everything has led the teams to reflect on several disciplines and to consider how other parts of the shoe could use the waste. For example, the Zoom Air pods in the forefoot of the Nike Running line are naturally made with a high percentage of recycled content. The Alphafly Next Nature improved on this concept and used the leftover waste from those Zoom Air capsules in the 3D printing process that creates the textile for the Nike Flyprint and Nike Flyknit hybrid upper.
Created within the NEXT% system, the original Alphafly NEXT% is the sum of many components working together. The design principles behind Move to Zero are no different; Each shoe is part of a larger quest for progress, as the knowledge derived from one shoe guides the next shoe forward to reduce its impact on the planet. According to Bull, the Alphafly Next Nature offers another starting point and a unique opportunity for Nike to continue to intensify its sustainability efforts across its entire racing range.
“What’s exciting about advancing performance and sustainability with the Alphafly Next Nature is that we know that if we can do it with our highest performance product, then so much is validated. to bring this technology to the rest of the range, ”says Bull. .
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