Sustainable Olympics? A phrase deemed an oxymoron. London 2012 Olympics saw an additional 3.4 million tons of CO2 according to inhabit.com. Nike, however, plans on contributing to a carbon neutral Olympics by focusing on sustainable clothing and manufacturing, with the desire for Tokyo to be the greenest Olympics so far.
Climate change is the largest issue our generation faces, and big consumer brands have a large amount of power in advocating going green. Nike acknowledges their responsibility the environment as they state: “We don’t want to be passive; we want to lead the conversation…And it’s not a time to be timid – it’s a time to be bold, to dream big and to take action.” That is certainly what they are doing. They have employed sustainable methods in designing Team USA’s kit for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, introducing a new design movement Space Hippie.
Nike states that ‘Space Hippie is an exploratory footwear collection inspired by life on Mars—where materials are scarce’. The focus is on recycling material rather than exploiting new resources in an effort to cut down greenhouse gas emission. Each piece in this collection will include at least 85 percent rPoly which is made from recycled water bottles, yarn scraps and t-shirts. The Space Hippies also feature ZoomX cushioning, made entirely from foam scraps. The result is a lightweight, responsive feel made from a renewable composition that uses about half the CO2 emissions as typical Nike foams. It is Nike’s most sustainable project yet and is part of their ‘move to zero’ scheme. There will be four styles in the Space Hippie collection, all designed in line with the theme ‘space’.
This collection is just part of Nike’s broader plan to reach their goal of using 100 percent renewable energy in owned or operated facilities globally by 2025. As well as using reusable materials for their shoes, reducing the amount of energy and water used, their suppliers are also switching to 100 percent renewable sources of energy that are cleaner than fossil fuels.
Nike’s new scheme and sponsorship of USOC (United States Olympic Committee) has consequently set the bar for Tokyo 2020 Olympics to be the most sustainable as of yet.
Illustration: Frannie Wise