Earlier this year Nike challenged designers and scientists to create something useful from footwear material waste. It received more than 600 applications from 58 countries, some of which included improvements to the footwear recycling process.
The competition is one part of broader sustainability philosophy the footwear giant in embracing. In 2016 it was reported that 71 percent of Nike footwear and apparel contained recycled materials, and in 2015 the company diverted 92 percent of its waste from landfills to non-energy recovery incinerators.
The six winners, revealed on Monday 22nd October, used foam, rubber, leather, and fibres to create everything from furniture and yoga accessories to street safety products and a vacuum mattress.
An additional prize was awarded to SumaRec, which found two phases to add to Nike’s material recovery process. The two phases are an additional material separation step dividing outputs based on weight and an extra material grinding step. Nike applauded SumaRec for its efforts, stating that the steps could improve the purity of material outputs.
The winning ideas will be considered for further development.