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Nike takes trash to another level with the Space Hippie

Posted on Feb 11, 2020 in Nike

Just in case you missed it, Nike held their annual Innovation Summit in New York, mainly showcasing their latest products that are mostly due in time for the Tokyo Summer Olympics. While most of the products were made for competition, Nike also looked at solutions to reduce their carbon footprint.

Enter the Space Hippie.

Nike literally used ‘space junk’ for their latest footwear collection. Using scrap material from their factory floors, Nike took a bold step to reimagine solutions to critical environmental problems. The result was astounding — the footwear had the lowest carbon footprint scores ever.

“Space Hippie product presents itself as an artifact from the future. It’s avant garde; it’s rebelliously optimistic,” says John Hoke, Nike Chief Design Officer. “Space Hippie is also an idea. It is about figuring out how to make the most with the least material, the least energy and the least carbon.” 

With its environmental solutions, we’re definitely on board. Nike found ways to deal with waste and turning trash into something of value. They definitely changed the way we look at materials, and how they can be used.

“The basis for the engineered knits that form the Space Hippie uppers is created using what we call ‘Space Waste Yarn.’ These yarns are made from 100 percent recycled material — including recycled plastic water bottles, T-shirts and yarn scraps. Combined with the other elements of the Space Hippie 02, we get an upper that is 90 percent recycled content by weight.”
“For cushioning, Space Hippie uses factory scraps from the production of the Vaporfly 4% and reprocesses that ZoomX foam in a way that uses about half the CO2e as typical Nike foams.”
“The tooling of all Space Hippie shoes, created with ‘Crater Foam,’ is made with a blend of standard Nike foams and 15 percent Nike Grind Rubber. The reduction in virgin material gives a lower carbon footprint and the Nike Grind granules create a really unique texture and color mix on every midsole.”

The Space Hippie is definitely something from the future, but it really sets the bar for responsible design, and material sourcing. Space Hippie is about doing better for today, setting the stage for a stronger tomorrow.

“We believe the future for product will be circular,” says Seana Hannah, VP, Sustainable Innovation. “We must think about the entire process: how we design it, how we make it, how we use it, how we reuse it and how we cut out waste at every step. These are the fundamentals of a circular mindset that inform best practices.”

If there ever was a shoe with purpose, this is it. The innovation behind the program definitely inspires us to be better. The Nike Space Hippie is set to drop this Spring across SNKRS and SNEAKERS, as well as at Nike House of Innovation location and select retailers.

Nike Space Hippie 01
Nike Space Hippie 02
Nike Space Hippie 03
Nike Space Hippie 04