Nike Forward is an innovative new process for piecing together high-performance apparel with a reduced impact on the environment. A trademark name in both the athletic clothing industry and a driving force for the sustainability movement, Nike released its newest technology in the form of an iconic classic — the gray hoodie.

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A model wearing the heather-gray hoodie and showing the sleeves

“We believe this platform has the potential to reset the way we think about material and apparel. This is the biggest Nike apparel innovation since Dri-Fit 30 years ago and has huge potential to transform the industry in the way that Air and Flyknit did for Nike footwear,” says Aaron Heiser, VP Global Apparel Product Merchandising, NIKE, Inc.

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The men's version of the Forward hoodie

What’s special is that Nike Forward results in a 75% reduction in the carbon footprint during manufacturing compared to Nike’s traditional knit fleece. The process allows the use of several thin layers of carefully chosen material to balance softness with warmth and performance. The simplified process results in fewer steps in the manufacturing process. Instead of continuing the traditional processes for knit and woven materials, Nike Forward looks ahead to a new way of doing things. 

Two models in the sustainable hoodie

“Nike Forward feels different because it is different. It is not a traditional knit or woven, but a completely new material that drastically reduces its carbon footprint,” says Carmen Zolman, VP Innovation Apparel Design, NIKE, Inc.

A crew sweatshirt in the line

Further, the streamlined process of converting fiber into textiles using a needle-punch process means skipping several stages in a typical production. Each skipped step means reducing the amount of energy, water and manpower resources that are required.

A pocket on the hoodie that is a slit

Nike took the minimalist approach a step further with an ultra-simple design on the hoodie that forgoes dyes and extras like zippers and aglets. The raw cut pockets provide a distinct throwback look while saving on additional materials and energy. The finished hoodie is made up of 70% recycled content, contributing to the circular goals of the company.

Nike’s no stranger to innovation and a commitment to corporate responsibility. Nike Forward is simply the latest in a long line of efforts to continuously raise the bar of performance and dedication to doing better for the planet.

+ Nike

Images via Nike