The Nike Air Force 1, Cortez and Blazer Are Getting Sustainable Earth Day Makeovers

Nike is celebrating Earth Day this month with a special collaboration. The brand has partnered with Los Angeles-based artist Steven Harrington, who is know for his psychedelic aesthetic, for a capsule collection inspired by the planet.

The collection includes the Air Force 1 (retailing for $100), Cortez ($90) and Blazer ($80) sneaker styles. And in the capsule, Harrington features his signature pop art style animations with dog and palm tree characters, which were inspired by the saying “Earth Day, Every Day.”

In honor of Earth Day, the sneakers are also designed with Nike’s sustainable Flyleather material, which is made with at least 50% recycled leather fiber.

“When we first jumped into this project it was about educating myself on the material itself and where it comes from,” Harrington told FN. “They are meant to be these infographics, and it’s about learning the material and being intrigued by this world.”

Nike Flyleather x Steven Harrington Blazer.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Nike

Flyleather is so sustainable, according to the company, 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. Nike introduced the eco-friendly technology in 2017.

Nike’s VP of purpose communications, Vanessa Garcia-Brito, said, “We are talking about leather scraps that would have been waste turned into something that’s beautiful and sustainable. It uses less water, less energy and its 40 percent lighter and more durable.” Adding, “Above all things we are a brand of purpose. We are committed to creating a better future for people and our planet. Because we are brand that exists to serve our athletes, sustainability is core to doing that. This is part of our ethos.”

Nike Flyleather x Steven Harrington Cortez.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Nike

The Nike Flyleather, by Steven Harrington collection will go on sale Earth Day, April 22, via Nike SNKRS app. In addition, a limited quantity will be available at Harrington’s latest exhibition, “Magic Hour,” which will highlight more than 50 pieces of new work, including one spanning 16 feet and reaching 8-feet high as well as paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures.

He said, “Sustainability can be a very daunting subject to tackle. It’s one that a lot of us steer clear of [because] we think there’s not much we can really do. But this project for me is talking about the fact that every little bit counts.”

Nike Flyleather x Steven Harrington Air Force 1.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Nike

The art show will open on Saturday, April 13, and run through April 21 at 670 S. Anderson Street in Los Angeles.

Click through the gallery to see more photos from the collection.

Watch FN’s video below with Nike Trainer Joe Holder. 

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