Space Hippie, an exploratory footwear collection constructed with Nike’s own “space junk,” transforms scrap material from factory floors into a radical expression of circular design. Every detail of the four initial Space Hippie silhouettes, from material choices to methods of make to packaging, was chosen with consideration for its environmental impact.
With Nike Space Hippie, the urgency of climate change is met by a bold step to reimagine solutions to critical environmental problems. The result is the creation of Nike footwear with our lowest carbon footprint scores ever.
“Space Hippie product presents itself as an artifact from the future. It’s avant garde; it’s rebelliously optimistic,” says John Hoke, Nike Chief Design Officer. “Space Hippie is also an idea. It is about figuring out how to make the most with the least material, the least energy and the least carbon.”
The product has purpose, but doesn’t veer from Nike’s legacy of goosebump-inducing design. It is a barometer of progress, presenting new ideas to deal with waste and turning trash into something beautiful.
“I’d say Space Hippie attacks the villain of trash,” says Hoke. “It’s changed the way we look at materials, it’s changed the way that we look at the aesthetics of our product. It’s changed how we approach putting product together.”
Nike Designer Noah Murphy-Reinhertz Breaks Down The Design of the Space Hippie 02
“The basis for the engineered knits that form the Space Hippie uppers is created using what we call ‘Space Waste Yarn.’ These yarns are made from 100 percent recycled material — including recycled plastic water bottles, T-shirts and yarn scraps. Combined with the other elements of the Space Hippie 02, we get an upper that is 90 percent recycled content by weight.”
“For cushioning, Space Hippie uses factory scraps from the production of the Vaporfly 4% and reprocesses that ZoomX foam in a way that uses about half the CO2e as typical Nike foams.”
“The tooling of all Space Hippie shoes, created with ‘Crater Foam,’ is made with a blend of standard Nike foams and 15 percent Nike Grind Rubber. The reduction in virgin material gives a lower carbon footprint and the Nike Grind granules create a really unique texture and color mix on every midsole.”
Consider Space Hippie an example of advancing human potential. New benchmarks in use of recycled content set a new bar for responsible design. It challenges convention in material sourcing. Space Hippie is about doing better for today, setting the stage for a stronger tomorrow. It drives a new vision for how things are made, used and, ultimately, reused.
“We believe the future for product will be circular,” says Seana Hannah, VP, Sustainable Innovation. “We must think about the entire process: how we design it, how we make it, how we use it, how we reuse it and how we cut out waste at every step. These are the fundamentals of a circular mindset that inform best practices.”
Space Hippie embodies the idea that designers have a right and responsibility in problem-solving. It tackles a big, complex issue with soft grace. Like a barrier-breaking run, the innovation should provide us all a healthy dose of inspiration.
Space Hippie 01, 02, 03 and 04 will be available this spring for Nike members in SNKRS and SNEAKERS, as well as at Nike House of Innovation flagship locations and select retailers.