Nike is a company thinking green. Lorrie Vogel the head of Nike Considered explained to Matthew Wheeland of GreenBiz.com: “For us, it’s about creating closed-loop products, taking materials from an old shoe and an old shirt, grinding it up and turning them into a new shoe, a new shirt.”
Many techniques have been put into place to help achieve the goals of reducing material use and recyclability of the end product. Programs have been created to give instant feedback to the designer as a product is designed. “The company’s World Cup jerseys for the 2010 South Africa games, for example, were made of 100 percent recycled polyester, with each jersey taking eight plastic bottles out of landfills. The net result of that one project alone was reusing 13 million plastic bottles, and showed what was possible with Nike’s Considered ethos.”
The results have been rewarding for Nike in several ways. “(The) amount of waste reduction is the equivalent of simply not producing 15 million pairs of shoes. And Nike’s overall use of recycled polyester, like for the World Cup jersey, doubled between 2009 and 2010, and has now taken 82 million plastic bottles out of landfills and back into the product stream.”
The newest development is Nike building a group of partners with similar intentions in the GreenXchange. “To date, there are over 400 patents from Nike and its partners in the GreenXchange, and Vogel closed out her presentation by challenging the crowd to think of one patent or one piece of know-how that they think is valuable and would be made more valuable by being shared.”
This kind of creative thinking to achieve closed-loop products will be of benefit to the individual (100), the company (10+4), the domestic market (10+5) and the international market (10+6) because there will be less waste and less impact to the environment (10+7).