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    Wednesday, January 16, 2008

    Sustainable Shoes

    Nike is usually on the brunt of environmentalists' attacks. Seems that are trying to make notice of when they play nice with Mother earth.

    Saw this article on CNN that dives into Nike's slow to realization "Considered" line.

    Nike is using, the year of the 23 to blow out its most important personality. Not just because he played bball at UNC. The Air Jordan XX3, is the first basketball shoe shaped by what Nike calls "e-Considered," "approach to design that favors environmentally-preferable materials, reduces toxic chemicals and curbs waste." Considered debuted in 2005, as a niche brand , with an god-awfully weird but happinesss-inducing leather boot. It used vegetable dyes, was bonded without chemical glues and had hemp laces. Being a sneakerhead, it caught me by surprise. Smart, but not necessarily a brand burner. Apparently , the "Considered" philosophy has umbrellaed over to more and more products.

    This is a great step for Nike to take the lead. As the article points, "going green" often comes at a sacrifice of style and substance in the name of the environment. The real deal still exists if people will buy the shoe for this or for the style that has iconified Jordan and Nike over the last few decades. Will the shoe change the industry or is this a marketing ploy? It certainly feels good now, but time will tell if all shoes begin to be made this way. And will consumers sway to purchase this because its green or because its Jordan and looks damn good? I always say its about the product, not the marketing, but this might be a rare combination.

    For a more interesting look, check out the designer who helped helped create the idea, Jeff Staple; with interesting perspective on this sole creation. He lists the criteria for a "Considered" product as is:

    "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.)"

    [ed. note - Thanks JS for the link! Have to make it down to the store sometime soon]





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