Forbes India – Fashion, Environment: Nike makes sneakers that can be disassembled for recycling


Nike Link and Link Axis sneakers can be disassembled for recycling. Image: Courtesy of Nike

NOTike has made it its mission to reduce its environmental footprint with two new fully removable trainer models. This innovation is designed to make recycling faster and easier, thereby reducing waste.

It is now impossible for any company in the fashion industry not to respond to the climate emergency, by helping to reduce the environmental impact of the second most polluting industry in the world. The challenges are numerous, as are the initiatives taken by the various brands in the sector, whether in the world of ready-to-wear or accessories, footwear or sportswear. Many are turning to low-impact or recycled raw materials, setting up short production circuits, limiting water and energy consumption, but also reducing waste.

The Swoosh brand, which has already proposed a few initiatives in this direction, is innovating today with two new shoe models, the Link and the Link Axis, designed to combine performance and durability. Nike’s ISPA (Improvise; Scavenge; Protect; Adapt) research team worked on a circular design process that involves disassembling a product to more easily recycle its components. But is taking apart a sneaker really an easy thing to do? This can be hard to imagine, considering a sneaker is made up of a lot of materials, all glued together.

“Designed in partnership with engineering, creation and digital product development, these shoes are fully informed by the manufacturing method – it’s truly a case of form following function,” says Darryl Matthews, Vice President , Catalyst Footwear Product Design at Nike. “Our hope is that these ideas and aesthetics will normalize, accelerating our ability to imagine how shoes will continue to evolve in the future.”

Each model is made up of not one, but three parts that fit together without glue or other hard-to-recycle materials. Once worn, the shoes can be brought back to the store and then disassembled, so that each piece can be recycled separately according to the material of which it is made. The “Nike ISPA Link” will be the first model to launch in June, while the “Nike ISPA Link Axis” will land in early 2023.

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