March 7, 2020

This is Space Hippie: Sustainable exploratory footwear collection inspired by life on Mars. Created from scraps, or "space junk."

Nike used factory scraps and recycled "space waste yarn" to create the Space Hippie sneakers in an experimental project to reduce the carbon impact of its products. The idea is on the In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) method employed in space travel. ISRU suggests that the further humans go into space, the more important it will be for them to use local materials to generate their own products. (Source)

“It is about figuring out how to make the most with the least material, the least energy and the least carbon,” said John Hoke, Nike’s chief design officer. “I’d say Space Hippie attacks the villain of trash.”

“It’s changed the way we look at materials, it’s changed the way that we look at the aesthetics of our product,” he added. “It’s changed how we approach putting product together.”

Moving towards a Circular Economy

It is a first step towards employing the process of the circular economy, which aims to eliminate waste and pollution from manufacturing.

"We believe the future for product will be circular," said Seana Hannah, vice president of sustainable innovation at Nike.

"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."

In addition to reducing the use of virgin materials, allowing for a lower carbon footprint, the use of Nike Grind also grants each shoe's midsole a unique texture and colour combination.

"Consider Space Hippie an example of advancing human potential," said Nike. "New benchmarks in use of recycled content set a new bar for responsible design. It challenges convention in material sourcing."


Literally. When Nike set out to create the lowest carbon footprint shoe ever, it quickly became clear that waste would need to be its primary source material. But can you make a shoe out of, well...garbage? Even the designers and engineers weren’t sure. But they had to try—our future depends on it. The result: kicks completely out of this world. Say hello to Space Hippie.