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Nike saves the Earth with sustainable bubbles

“A large part of achieving those goals rests on how Nike makes its Air bags”

Nike saves the Earth with sustainable bubbles “A large part of achieving those goals rests on how Nike makes its Air bags”
As a bonus step, Nike makes the process even more sustainable by re-using over 90 percent of its excess scrap material.

As a bonus step, Nike makes the process even more sustainable by re-using over 90 percent of its excess scrap material.

Once they've been approved, the Air units are shipped to other Nike factories where they'll be affixed to uppers.

Once they've been approved, the Air units are shipped to other Nike factories where they'll be affixed to uppers.

Which results in inflated Air bags primed for the final step: inspection.

Which results in inflated Air bags primed for the final step: inspection.

The fun part begins when pressurized nitrogen is pumped throughout the molds.

The fun part begins when pressurized nitrogen is pumped throughout the molds.

Then the shapes must be cleaned up around the edges.

Then the shapes must be cleaned up around the edges.

The next step is beginning to trim down the molds.

The next step is beginning to trim down the molds.

The molds function as the blueprint for the Air units.

The molds function as the blueprint for the Air units.

The process continues by clamping down the TPU to create molds.

The process continues by clamping down the TPU to create molds.

Once the TPU has reached its desired temperature, clamps are set in place.

Once the TPU has reached its desired temperature, clamps are set in place.

Heaters are then used to warm up the TPU sheets.

Heaters are then used to warm up the TPU sheets.

It all begins with two sheets of TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane), which are fed into a thermoforming machine.

It all begins with two sheets of TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane), which are fed into a thermoforming machine.

Recently Nike published its Sustainable Business Report and the objectives are only for real game changers of the industry, as Nike is.

This report shows Nike’s emblematic 30-year commitment to sustainability and the outstanding information is: 75 percent of all Nike shoes and apparel now contain some recycled material, and Nike is the industry leader of using recycled polyester.

Yarn, soles and basketball courts are a few examples of the many products Nike creates by transforming plastic bottles, manufacturing scraps and used product into new materials, do you want to know what they become?

The Air unit.

Probably Nike’s most iconic product manufactured in a sustainable way. As the brand declares:

"Air is one of Nike’s most sustainable innovations".

Introduced in 1979 the Air unit consists of pressurized air inside a plastic flexible bag, that generally sits in the midsole beneath the heel, forefoot or both to provide the sensation of walking or running on air.

Nike through the years worked really hard on this technology to improve it in different aspects. In the last decades Nike realized always bigger, stronger and lighter Air Units, but now in 2018, it's not enough.

Companies in 2018 need to figure out their impact on people’s lives, but also on our planet’s life, setting concrete objectives to reduce the impact on the earth by using more recycled materials and sustainable energies. 

Nike has already set its objectives, as the improvement of the percentage of recycled materials in its production to reach 100-percent of the manufacturing use of renewable energy across North America by 2019 (halfway toward reaching its worldwide goal by 2025).

“A large part of achieving those goals rests on how Nike makes its Air bags”

says Nike and the brand's illustrators show 11 simple drafts on how they make their Airbags. In this case, the super innovative and giant VaporMax air sole unit.

Let’s check this creative illustrations, and let's think about how a company needs to be in 2018 with an eye towards the future? 

It all begins with two sheets of TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane), which are fed into a thermoforming machine.

It all begins with two sheets of TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane), which are fed into a thermoforming machine.

Heaters are then used to warm up the TPU sheets.

Heaters are then used to warm up the TPU sheets.

Once the TPU has reached its desired temperature, clamps are set in place.

Once the TPU has reached its desired temperature, clamps are set in place.

The process continues by clamping down the TPU to create molds.

The process continues by clamping down the TPU to create molds.

The molds function as the blueprint for the Air units.

The molds function as the blueprint for the Air units.

The next step is beginning to trim down the molds.

The next step is beginning to trim down the molds.

Then the shapes must be cleaned up around the edges.

Then the shapes must be cleaned up around the edges.

The fun part begins when pressurized nitrogen is pumped throughout the molds.

The fun part begins when pressurized nitrogen is pumped throughout the molds.

Which results in inflated Air bags primed for the final step: inspection.

Which results in inflated Air bags primed for the final step: inspection.

Once they've been approved, the Air units are shipped to other Nike factories where they'll be affixed to uppers.

Once they've been approved, the Air units are shipped to other Nike factories where they'll be affixed to uppers.

As a bonus step, Nike makes the process even more sustainable by re-using over 90 percent of its excess scrap material.

As a bonus step, Nike makes the process even more sustainable by re-using over 90 percent of its excess scrap material.