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Nike’s New ‘Visual Badging’ Shows What Shoes on Its Site Are Made From at Least 50% Recycled Content

As an increasing number of consumers demand transparency, Nike is experimenting with new ways of letting them know exactly which of its products are sustainably designed.

The sportswear giant hosted a virtual roundtable late last week, when it unveiled more details behind its “Move to Zero” program, which is intended to minimize its environmental footprint. As part of the move, the Swoosh announced that it has piloted a new “visual badging” system highlighting more than 2,000 items both online and in stores that are made with at least 50% recycled content by weight.

“When we talk to our consumers, and we ask them what’s important to them when they shop, whether in our stores or online, we hear the same answer, which is they want transparency,” said Michelle Warvel, VP of Nike Direct Service and Experience. “They want to be able to make an informed decision when they’re deciding who to shop with or what to buy.”

She added, “The things that we’re hearing that are really important are: What are the materials in this product, and how is it made? So it’s really pushed our thinking as we’re reinventing shopping — again, digital and physical — and how do we tell the story behind that product.”

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Among those products is the Nike Air VaporMax 2020 Flyknit, which incorporates elements like Nike Grind — or rubber, foam, fiber, leather and textile blends created from the brand’s recycled surplus manufacturing materials — in the outsole, as well as recycled polyester yarns in the shoe’s upper.

On its website, Nike has made the eco-friendly distinction with a sunburst-like icon that appears on the top left of the product’s preview image on a search page. Shoppers are also able to filter their choices based on specific materials, such as organic cotton or recycled foam, and discover the brand’s process of turning trash into footwear and apparel.

“Consumers are responding really positively,” Warvel added. “We’re seeing higher engagement, three times the conversion [rate] on these products, which is incredible. We are rapidly scaling [and] continuing to go across the globe with this feature, as well as moving [it] to the Nike app and pushing [it] out [into] our digital ecosystem.”

Beyond the visual badging, Nike revealed other initiatives related to its “Move to Zero” program: It aims to power owned and operated facilities with 100% renewable energy by 2025, as well as reduce carbon emissions across its global supply chain by 30% in the next decade, which is in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement. What’s more, it plans to divert 99% of all footwear manufacturing waste from landfills and more than a billion plastic bottles per year from landfills to create yarns for new jerseys and uppers for Flyknit shoes.

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