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Nike’s Space Hippie Transforms Trash Into Wearable Treasures

By John Kim
Nike has postponed the release of the Space Hippie collection to July 2nd.
 
 
Consumers have always been drawn to the brands who were capable of doing the most. But in recent years, there’s been a growing attraction to those who can do it with the least. As the ecological footprints of consumer brands are becoming more apparent, the priority of innovation has shifted towards creating substantial product from existing waste and scraps. Creating at all costs is, at this point, irresponsible. Sustainable sourcing is much of where Nike’s focus on the future relies. The science of creating materials is as important as collaborating with the right designer; both have lasting effects in the identity of the brand, but only one can physically influence the world around it.
 
 
Nike has been exploring sustainability methods for decades. In 2005, it launched Nike Considered, a product development initiative that required sourcing materials from within 200 miles from the Nike campus to reduce emissions from transportation. Leathers, suedes, and hemps were made with minimal treatment, while soles were made of recycled factory waste rubber. Other successful initiatives included Trash Talk, which constructed shoes with leather scraps from factory floors, Flyknit, with yarns made of recycled plastic water bottles, and Flyleather, a synthetic prove how the brand practically implemented responsible methods into the creation of attractive footwear. With Space Hippie, they’re onto something that could have true lasting effects.
 
  • Nike Space Hippie 01 July 2, $130

  • Nike Space Hippie 02 July 2, $150

  • Nike Space Hippie 03 July 2, $180

  • Nike Space Hippie 04 July 2, $130

  • Nike Space HippieShoebox

CRATER FOAM

 

It comes in lint, dark lint, and light lint.

  Murphy-Reinhertz on the initial color options for Space Waste Yarn

Noah Murphy-Reinhertz, Sustainability Design Lead for Nike, played a pivotal role in the Space Hippie movement. He was moved by the idea of creating an open source tool-kit that could be applied beyond footwear, and this is naturally where the theme of space travel and exploration fit in. Astronauts for example are regularly tasked with solving problems that require resourcefulness, and so the outcome of the footwear meshed with the exploration aesthetic. The shoes almost look unfinished and entirely raw, yet entirely practical and efficient. It indeed is something you’d see in outer space.
 
 
Starting with the upper, the Space Waste Yarn is made of 85-90 recycled trash. That meant no added heat or dye, which yielded the options of “lint, dark lint, and light lint” colors. Basically, with no added processing, everything skewed towards a grey-ish color, but paired with the blue Crater Foam and the light hits of color, it maintains that “recycled” look. From our first-hand experience, Space Waste Yarn is very elastic and soft and is comparable to contemporary Flyknit.
 
 
Each of the Space Hippie models are supporting by a ZoomX insole made entirely from ZoomX scrap waste, but the challenge was to bond the pieces together and achieve the same durability, underfoot feeling, and energy return expected from the ZoomX running shoes. The insole was then placed into the core of the Crater Foam cake, which achieved the striking blue hue from the 50% Nike chambray. Once the foam was settled, the innovation team shot the bits of the recycled rubber grind, which adds to the “space junk” motif of the collection. Overall, the Space Hippie has an extremely low carbon footprint without compromising any dynamic and flashy design.
 
 

  • Noah Murphy-Reinhertz Sustainability Design Lead

  • Nike Space Hippie Releasing July 2

  • Nike Space Hippie Releasing July 2

  • Nike Space Hippie Releasing July 2

  • Nike Space Hippie Releasing July 2

The Collection

 

Crater Foams, Space Waste Yards, and the recycled ZoomX insoles all take shape into four distinct models – the Space Hippie 01, Space Hippie 02, Space Hippie 03, and Space Hippie 04. The entire footwear collection is unisex and will be available in extended sizes for both genders. Each comes housed in a special shoe-box that is completely non-descript on the exterior, outside of the shoe box-tag and the brand markings on the bottom, but the inside tells a much larger story with the TRASH IS TREASURE tag-line, Space Hippie graphics, and more. The enter set releases on June 11th on Nike SNKRS/SNEAKRS.

  • Nike Space Hippie 01 July 2, $130

  • Nike Space Hippie 01 July 2, $130

  • Nike Space Hippie 01 July 2, $130

  • Nike Space Hippie 01 July 2, $130

The Space Hippie 01 looks the most like a “regular” shoe, in that it has a typical low-cut of a running shoe and a traditional lacing layout. The lace eyelets are formed with an exterior cord that loops to create a necessary holes for the laces, which sits above the ribbon that is stitched down on the mid-foot. The outsole is made of Crater Foam with a full-length ZoomX insole for added responsiveness and cushioning. This model releases on June 11th on Nike SNKRS/SNEAKRS for $130 USD.

  • Nike Space Hippie 02 July 2, $150

  • Nike Space Hippie 02 July 2, $150

  • Nike Space Hippie 02 July 2, $150

  • Nike Space Hippie 02 July 2, $150

The Space Hippie 02 ditches the lacing arrangement of the 01 and increases the height to a chukka-like stance. The Swoosh logo is now placed at the forefoot, an attractive detail seen in speedy high-performing sports models such as the Mercurial series and even the Nike LeBron signature shoe series. The ankle features thicker padding and a tighter elasticity for better fit. This model releases on June 11th on Nike SNKRS/SNEAKRS for $150 USD.

  • Nike Space Hippie 03 July 2, $180

  • Nike Space Hippie 03 July 2, $180

  • Nike Space Hippie 03 July 2, $180

  • Nike Space Hippie 03 July 2, $180

The Space Hippie 03 is said to be the most limited of the four models, simply because the sourcing for the exterior Flyease mechanism was limited in supply. The pull-strap and heel-release are all made of recycled materials, while the Fast-Fit mechanisms were from the original 1.0 units that were made aerlier. This model releases on June 11th on Nike SNKRS/SNEAKRS for $180 USD.

  • Nike Space Hippie 04 July 2, $130

  • Nike Space Hippie 04 July 2, $130

  • Nike Space Hippie 04 July 2, $130

  • Nike Space Hippie 04 July 2, $130

The Space Hippie 04, seen in two colorways, is a women’s release, although it will be available in extended sizing. The entire Space Hippie footwear collection is considered unisex, but the 04 has a lower cut than the 01 and a completely different Crater Foam midsole in grey. This model releases on June 11th on Nike SNKRS/SNEAKRS for $180 USD in grey/crimson and grey/blue colorways.

  • Nike Space Hippie 04 Coming Soon

  • Nike Space Hippie 04 Coming Soon

  • Nike Space Hippie 04 Coming Soon

  • Nike Space Hippie 04 Coming Soon