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New Nike range aims to change how leather trainers are made

Sustainable and cool

New Nike range aims to change how leather trainers are made

The lads over at Swoosh Towers have been hard at work creating a more sustainable alternative to their regular ways of making leather trainers. 

Trying to lessen some of the leather wastage during manufacture (Nike reports can be “up to 30% of a cow’s hide”), they’ve introduced the new Nike Flyleather made from those very leftovers. “Think of Flyleather as the Spam of leather,” writes Jake Woolf at - Spam never looked so hype. But unlike Spam, the manufacturing process of Flyleather is quite complicated: 

According to Nike, they “[gather] the discarded leather scrap from the floor of tanneries and turn[s] them into fibers. Then, those recycled leather fibers are combined with synthetic fibers and a fabric infrastructure via a hydro process with a force that’s so strong it fuses everything into one material. The material then goes through a finishing process, which can include things like pigmentation, and is completed by being put on a roll to be cut.”

Released in Tennis Classic (above), Nike are also releasing the Energy Icons series to celebrate Climate Week (the Air Jordan, Air Max 90 (below), Cortez, Tennis Classic, and Air Force 1 are all getting a white Flyleather and rose gold treatment). 

After all that smart-arse science shit is done and dusted, what you’re left with is a trainer that is just as good but has roughly half the carbon footprint of a ‘regular’ shoe, says Nike. 

And it’s not just better for the environment, Flyleather is also reportedly 40% lighter and five times more durable than your average sneaker leather according to something called “abrasion testing”, which sees how much rubbing a fabric can withstand before tearing. Better for you, better for the plants and the animals (except, uh, you know, cows), and better for Nike. 

Everyone’s a winner. 

The Nike Flyleather Energy Icons series is only available via Nike’s giveaway page - enter here to win. The giveaway is now live and ends on September 30th.