Nike has taken a bold step into the world of circular fashion with the all-new ISPA Link Axis, a groundbreaking footwear innovation that embraces sustainability and innovation at its core.
The ISPA Link Axis redefines what a shoe can be – every component of this shoe is designed for recycling. It introduces an ingenious design approach with interlocking components, minimal materials usage, and an adhesive-free construction. The upper of the Link Axis is crafted from 100 percent recycled polyester Flyknit, precisely engineered to seamlessly fit over the outsole. This design departure from the traditional cut-and-sew method used for previous Nike ISPA Link models showcases a commitment to sustainability.
Furthermore, the shoe features a 100 percent recycled TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) sole achieved by repurposing scrap airbag material. Additionally, a 20 percent recycled TPU cage adds support and structure to the shoe. Balancing the use of recycled content with the need for durability and traction is a testament to Nike’s dedication to creating environmentally conscious products.
These remarkable innovations are the result of the Nike ISPA team’s dedication to the brand’s design philosophy: Improvise, Scavenge, Protect, Adapt (ISPA). This approach encourages creators to push boundaries, challenge conventions, and reimagine products. With the Link Axis, Nike takes a significant step toward its circular vision – a closed-loop system that generates zero waste, contributing to the preservation of our planet and the future of sports.
For over three decades, Nike has been committed to serving both athletes and the environment. The company has introduced lower-impact materials such as Nike Grind and innovative footwear like the Alphafly Next Nature and the Move to Zero collections, all incorporating recycled content. As the global climate crisis escalates, Nike has accelerated its efforts, embracing circular design principles as catalysts for creativity. These principles are outlined in the Nike 2019 Circular Design Guide, an open-source resource that shares insights with the design community and advocates for sustainable practices.
With the Link Axis, Nike successfully addresses the circular design principle of “disassembly.” This principle involves making products easy to take apart for recycling, a challenging feat in the realm of footwear design. Traditional shoe construction often relies on glue and bonding elements for flexibility and durability, making disassembly nearly impossible. The recycling process typically involves energy-intensive shredding, limiting the potential for recycled materials. The Link Axis, however, breaks these barriers by allowing for easy disassembly, reducing its carbon footprint, and opening new avenues for its lifecycle.