Nike’s NASA-inspired Space Hippie Shoes Are Made From Trash

The footwear is made out of factory scraps and other recycled materials.

Mar 14, 2020

(Courtesy of Nike)

The newest footwear from Nike is really out-of-this-world. Inspired by NASA’s and its in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) or the use of materials it finds in space on long exploration missions, Nike used this concept to create the Space Hippie Shoes line.

The company said that the line is made from “space junk” to create a sports shoe with the "lowest carbon footprint ever.”

The collection in the experimental project to reduce the carbon footprint of its sports shoes has four different designs, Space Hippie 01, 02, 03 and 04. All of them, according to the company are made from scrap materials from the factory floors (space junk) and recycled materials.

The upper section of the is made from the knitted yarn from the scrap materials and the bottoms are made from 100 percent recycled materials including plastic water bottles, t-shirts, and textile scraps, according to Deezen. And the middle cushioning layer is made from surplus ZoomX that is used in the production of the Nike Vaporfly 4 percent Flyknit running shoes.

"I'd say Space Hippie attacks the villain of trash," John Hoke, Nike's chief design officer said in Nike News. 

The company described the shoes as a radical expression of circular design and all the materials used including the packaging were chosen taking environmental impact into consideration.

It is about figuring out how to make the most with the least material, the least energy and the least carbon,” said Hoke.

The company said that the new line is just the first step towards becoming a circular economy which will recycle or reuse waste to manufacture new products.

"We believe the future for product will be circular," says Seana Hannah, vice president 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."

The new line challenges the way manufacturing is done. "Consider Space Hippie an example of advancing human potential,” the company said. “New benchmarks in use of recycled content set a new bar for responsible design. It challenges convention in material sourcing."

Just like NASA will have to rely on (ISRU) on missions like going to Mars where they have to create new things from whatever is found there because there are no resupply missions coming, Nike is also utilizing recycled items for new designs.

"They [NASA] say there's no resupply mission coming to Mars – there's no resupply mission coming to earth either," Nike designer Noah Murphy-Reinhertz told Deezen.

Space Hippie 01, 02, 03 and 04 will be available in spring 2020 for Nike members in SNKRS and SNEAKERS, as well as at Nike House of Innovation flagship locations and select retailers.

Other footwear companies have also made inroads into the sustainable sports shoe market. One company, adias introduced the FUTURECRAFT.LOOP that is 100 percent recyclable, and other companies are experimenting with making shoes out of plastic bottles or ocean trash.

You can be the coolest Space Hippie runner and help take care of the planet at the same time. It’s easy to consume consciously and only buy sustainable eco-friendly items.

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Bonnie has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.