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Nike Space Hippie Challenges Prospects by Changing Norms

6 February 2020

Space Hippie, an exploratory footwear collection constructed with Nike’s own “space junk,” transforms scrap material from factory floors into a radical expression of circular design. Every detail of the four initial Space Hippie silhouettes, from material choices to methods of make to packaging, was chosen with consideration for its environmental impact.

With Nike Space Hippie, the urgency of climate change is met by a bold step to reimagine solutions to critical environmental problems. The result is the creation of Nike footwear with our lowest carbon footprint scores ever.

“Space Hippie product presents itself as an artifact from the future. It’s avant garde; it’s rebelliously optimistic,” says John Hoke, Nike Chief Design Officer. “Space Hippie is also an idea. It is about figuring out how to make the most with the least material, the least energy and the least carbon.”

Space Hippie 1

The product has purpose, but doesn’t veer from Nike’s legacy of goosebump-inducing design. It is a barometer of progress, presenting new ideas to deal with waste and turning trash into something beautiful.

“I’d say Space Hippie attacks the villain of trash,” says Hoke. ”It’s changed the way we look at materials, it’s changed the way that we look at the aesthetics of our product. It’s changed how we approach putting product together.”

Nike Designer Noah Murphy-Reinhertz Breaks Down The Design of the Space Hippie 02

Space Hippie 5

“The basis for the engineered knits that form the Space Hippie uppers is created using what we call ‘Space Waste Yarn.’ These yarns are made from 100 percent recycled material — including recycled plastic water bottles, T-shirts and yarn scraps. Combined with the other elements of the Space Hippie 02, we get an upper that is 90 percent recycled content by weight.”

Space Hippie 4

“For cushioning, Space Hippie uses factory scraps from the production of the Vaporfly 4% and reprocesses that ZoomX foam in a way that uses about half the CO2e as typical Nike foams.”

Space Hippie 3

“The tooling of all Space Hippie shoes, created with ‘Crater Foam,’ is made with a blend of standard Nike foams and 15 percent Nike Grind Rubber. The reduction in virgin material gives a lower carbon footprint and the Nike Grind granules create a really unique texture and color mix on every midsole.”