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From Trash to Space Hippie: Nike shoes made from waste

Inspired by the limited resources required for human life on Mars, as well as the plastic waste challenges facing planet Earth, Nike has developed Space Hippie, a shoe line made from waste materials. The design and manufacturing process was developed as one of their zero waste and zero carbon sustainability goals. The commercial above, Space Hippie: These Nike Sneakers are Trash, describes the project.

We kept going back to this phrase called in situ utilization. There’s this idea in space exploration that if you’re going to fly to the moon, fly to Mars and stay there and do something, you have to create things with what you find there. You can say there’s no resupply mission coming to Mars. There’s no resupply mission coming to Earth, either.

The design looks like it’s made from beach plastic “mixed in blue putty,” with marathon-winning ZoomX foam waste, grainy rubber, and a recycled yarn upper that “looks like dryer lint.”

space hippie shoe line
In the video below, From Trash to Space Hippie | Behind the Design, Nike describes how they recycled materials to create each part of their lowest carbon footprint shoe yet. From their site:

Space Hippie’s Flyknit yarn is made from 85-90% recycled content, including plastic bottles, t-shirts and post-industrial scraps. Crater Foam tooling uses about 12% Nike Grind rubber combined with foam materials for a more sustainable, lightweight and responsive feel during city exploration.

making a space hippie shoe

What if Nike and other shoe companies did this with all of their shoes, not just one line? Could used sneakers be transformed into new ones instead of going into the trash? Related watching: What is the Circular Economy?

Watch these shoe videos next:
Are your sneakers are part of the plastic problem?
• How traditional Chinese cloth shoes are made
• How a failed invention lead to a potentially life-saving new idea

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