Sunday, April 26, 2009

Nike Considers Going Green?

When it comes to consumer culture, Nike is notoriously known as its strongest catalyst. You can't help but think of sweat shops, money, and big business when talking about the popular athletic brand. I'll admit that I'm guilty of owning a number of Nike jerseys and sneakers, myself. However, in 2008, Nike has made strides toward becoming more socially responsible and environmentally friendly.

"Nike Considered Design" is a new line of Nike products which integrates sustainability principles with newest sport innovations. Its efforts include using materials within 200 miles of factories, recycled rubber, and utilizing materials such as hemp and polyester. Currently Nike Considered Design created footwear for its six categories (basketball, running, soccer, men's training, women's training, and sportswear). It hopes to have all footwear meet Considered standards by 2011, apparel by 2015, and equipment by 2020.

Jeff Staple, member of Nike Considered Design team, explains how the line came about.

In the video, Jeff Staple talks about the struggle he went through to gain support for a sustainable shoe. According to Yuniya Kawamura in Fashionology, it is important to produce culture with a product. She states, "today's designers place the strongest emphasis in recreating and reproducing their image, and that image that is projected through clothing is reflected on the designer's personal image," (Kawamura 2006). By creating and promoting this one line of eco-friendly designs, Nike will redefine their consumerist image.

Nike Considered Design's "Air Huarache 09"

Nike Considered Design has incredible potential to change not only the face of Nike but the shoe industry as a whole. If Nike actually goes through with their plan to produce all shoes under their Considered standards, it is likely that competing companies will do the same. Hopefully all shoes will adopt these design practices, too.

For those of you who truly can't follow the compact challenge and find yourselves craving a new pair of sneakers, consider scooping up a pair from Nike's Considered Design line. Even though you, yourself, aren't the most sustainable, at least your shoes will be!

-L.J. Lualhati

Fashionology by Yuniya Kawamura

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