We’re here to unveil a new age of design. One that is about making better things and making things better. As a starting point we’re diving into what the things we make are made of – materials. When considered from origin through to purchase, materials make up 60% of Nike’s environmental footprint for apparel and 40% in footwear. Using environmentally better materials can play a big role in making things better.
And the choice isn’t always intuitive.
Consider leather, for example. We design for product performance, and leather has some great performance attributes. In particular, it’s strong and flexible. Since it’s a natural material, people might assume that it’s environmentally benign. But cows require a lot of land, feed and water. The processing of hides into leather uses large amounts of energy, water and chemicals.
So how do we make better decisions?
Over the past eight years we’ve gathered the best publicly available information and developed the Nike Materials Sustainability Index. It is our thesis about how to measure the environmental impacts of materials. And it is a tool for Nike product designers that enables them to select environmentally better materials from better suppliers.
Everything the world makes is made with materials. We want this data to help more makers choose environmentally better materials. We’re releasing an alpha API to enable the makers whose material is code to build apps that take this data from spreadsheets to the fingertips of makers around the world.
Dive into the details of the Nike MSI in this PDF.