Nike started selling sneakers from its new Space Hippie collection. The footwear is constructed from factory and post-consumer waste that the sportswear company calls “space junk.” Space Hippie consists of four different silhouettes: 01, 02, 03, and 04. Nike’s manufacturing process for the footwear uses around 85–90% recycled polyester yarn, recycled foam, and a blended “Crater foam.” The result is a design that has a low carbon footprint, the company said.
Engineered knits in the Space Hippie 02 uppers are created from “Space Waste Yarn” that Nike designer Noah Murphy-Reinhertz described as 100% recycled material including recycled plastic water bottles, T-shirts, and yarn scraps. Combined with other elements in that sneaker design, the upper is 90% recycled content by weight, he added.
“The tooling of all Space Hippie shoes, created with ‘Crater foam,’ is made with a blend of standard Nike foams and 15% Nike Grind rubber,” he explained on the company’s website. “The reduction in virgin material gives a lower carbon footprint.”
Cushioning for the Space Hippie footwear contains recycled ZoomX foam. Nike takes factory scraps from the production of the Vaporfly 4% running shoe and reprocesses that foam in a way that uses about half the carbon dioxide equivalent as typical Nike foams, Murphy-Reinhertz said.
“We believe the future for product will be circular,” Nike’s VP of sustainable innovation Seana Hannah said. “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.”