SUSTAINABLE STYLE: Nike’s Recycled Scrap Sneaks
We like to talk trash here at Inhabitat, so when one of our readers tipped us off on the new Nike ‘Trash Talk’ shoe, we obviously wanted to find out if this was a load of garbage that we should truly get excited about. Launched in February of 2008 by Nike celebrity endorser Steve Nash (All-Star guard for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns), this newly soled-star uses recycled scrap waste from Nike’s own production facilities. Nike has gone to the basket before with the use of organic cotton in its active wear collections (though, only after other sporting apparel companies tested the consumer field). So what makes this eco-friendly sneaker so darn special? The greening of a must-have status item such as this is surely a play to watch.
With a retail price of USD $100, the ‘Trash Talk’ shoe clearly illustrates how a company like Nike can spin it’s scrap heap into gold. How they get this piece of freshly ground eco-footwear so pristine white, is a total mystery to me. The Adidas Grun still retains an earth-toned palette, and the Chuck Taylor Classic Converse in hemp is blatantly organic in its eco-dork style.
With an agenda of having all performance footwear meet their own internal sustainability standards by 2011, the Nike ‘Considered’ line is obviously searching for ways to remain competitive in low-cost Asian manufacturing markets as well as in urban neighborhoods where personal street style is constantly reinventing itself. Some have expressed that this is Nike’s attempt to do a bit of greenwashing while also covering up its less than stellar worker conditions and remuneration. (See their website for the most recent statements on labor condition improvements.) Whether Nike can walk the trash talk will be a matter of how well these sneaks sell and ignite the desires of consumers globally. For now some of us will sport about in our old indie footwear favorites, and let the big guys test their slick green moves out in the open.
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