Available now at the Nike store in New York City’s Soho neighborhood, NikeLab 21 Mercer and Dover Street Market in New York City is the Nike Flyleather Tennis Classic, an all-white premium court sneaker.
Also throughout this week, which is Climate Week NYC (where a diverse group of leaders will meet to discuss global climate action and how it relates to jobs), Nike will allow sneaker fans to win other popular models from its catalog built with Flyleather. The shoes boasting the material include the Air Force 1, the Air Max 90, the Cortez, the Air Jordan 1 and the Tennis Classic. (To try your luck at winning a pair, click here.)
The sustainable and durable performance-based material, according to Nike, is made with at least 50 percent recycled natural leather fiber and water power.”
“The earth is the athlete’s biggest playground, so one of our greatest opportunities is to create breakthrough products while protecting our planet,” Hannah Jones, chief sustainability officer and VP of the innovation accelerator at Nike, said in a statement. “Nike Flyleather is an important step toward ensuring athletes always have a place to enjoy sport.”
The new material, which the brand described feels like premium leather, is made with discarded leather scraps collected by Nike from tanneries, which are turned into fibers and then paired with synthetic fibers and a fabric infrastructure. This infrastructure is made through Nike’s hydro process, which Nike said uses a strong force to fuse it into one material.
It is so sustainable, according to Nike, because the process not only uses 90 percent less water than traditional leather manufacturing, it also has an 80 percent lower carbon footprint. Also, the brand stated a pair of its sneakers with the material has roughly half the carbon footprint of shoes made with traditional leather, and because Flyleather is made on a roll, cutting efficiency is improved and less waste is created.
And the benefits exceed the environmental. Flyleather is also good idea for sports performance footwear.
“Similar to what Nike Flyknit did for knit, Nike Flyleather can do for leather,” said John Hoke, chief design officer. “New technologies and platforms allow us to get closer to working at the molecular level. Flyleather is the latest example of this, and is particularly exciting because it allows for increased potential to extend our craft with more precision. This means opportunity for greater strength, support, elasticity and so on, based on the needs of specific sports.”