Want to see how a project evolves?
Back at the end of 2003-2004, a small renegade team at Nike wanted to start something within the company that took a hard look at the environment. The team had to be small, and quite honestly, secretive. Because they all knew that obstacles lay ahead. That small team approached Staple from the beginning and asked for our help. After all, they had to go outside the company for as much help as they could get. I signed on right away. From there, I remember small, secret meetings in tucked away conference rooms at Beaverton Nike HQ, with people I only dreamed of meeting. Guys who designed shoes that I saved up weeks and weeks for when I was a kid. It was inspiring. We were all in the room trying to make a dream a reality. I still have a folder on my hard drive called “Nike Eco-Tech”—that was the codename for the project. This would eventually become what we named, Nike Considered. From those initial meetings, it took about 2 years to see the project become a reality. At first, Considered was a capsule collection. Then it became a way of thinking across the entire company. I remember in those early days, we said, “Sure, we can make brown sandals that are eco-friendly all day long. But wouldn’t it be cool if one day, an NBA basketball player is playing in Nike Considered?”
Well, I honestly didn’t think it would be this fast…but the upcoming Air Jordan 23 is made fully CONSIDERED. To be qualified as CONSIDERED, is must maintain these benchmarks:
1. Must be made from recyclable materials. (i.e., 100% recyclable plastics or veg-tanned leathers.)
2. Zero Toxins. Zero chemical adhesives. (no glue.)
3. Mechanical vs Chemical. (using mechanics and engineering to put the shoe together instead of chemical solutions.)
4. Closed Loop Technology. (the shoe must be able to come back 100% as another shoe or something else. Nothing goes to waste.)
I’m really glad Nike decided to use the Air Jordan as a platform for Considered. It puts the entire process into the public spotlight. And honestly, that says a lot. In 2004, there were big people at Nike that didn’t want Considered to see the light of day. It’s great to see that it overcame.
Here are some inside looks at how Considered progressed…
Everything starts with ideas on paper. Or in this case…on chalkboard. Back in 2005, we launched Nike Considered in NYC at Reed Space. The line went around the block to see what was up. Imagine that…Street kids and sneakerheads lining up to see the next innovation in ecology. Check out more photos from our launch here. From 2004-2005-2008…this project has literally had a life of its own.
THE FINAL PRODUCT. This was the first production model of the Nike Considered boot. We cut it open so customers could see how it was made and that there was really no glue involved. The AJ23 shares many of the same design principals.
AJ23. I am sure this isn’t as completely “green” as our first design, but it is a step in the right direction that every other company should be following. Read the CNN report here as well.