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Nike Considered is a sustainable line of shoes introduced by Nike inc. a major American supplier of athletic shoes, apparel, and sports equipment. Nike Considered was developed by Richard Clarke, Tinker Hatfield, Steve McDonald, Mike Aveni & Andreas Harlow working with the Innovation Kitchen, located on Nike's 175-acre (0.71 km2) headquarters campus in Beaverton, Oregon. Brad Long & Steven Ploem commercialized the footwear designs for mass production. Nike Considered grew out of Nike’s commitments to design innovation and to sustainability. The designers pulled from the best ideas, both inside and outside the company, with the intent of reinventing footwear design. It also grew out of conversations with consumers who were increasingly asking for more sustainable products.
The Nike Considered line utilizes materials found primarily within 200 miles (320 km) of the Nike factory which reduces the energy used for transportation, diminishing the resulting climate change impact. The manufacturing process reduces solvent use by more than 80% compared with Nike’s typical products. The leather comes from a tannery that recycles wastewater to ensure toxins are kept out of the environment, and it is colored using vegetable-based dyes. Hemp and polyester are used to make the shoe's woven upper and shoelaces. The mid-sole is cut to lock into the outer sole, reducing the need for toxic adhesives. The shoe's outer sole includes rubber made from recycled factory rubber waste.
Considered is part of a larger effort Nike has been undertaking for several years to reduce waste, eliminate toxic substances, and otherwise lessen the environmental impact of the world's largest athletic shoe manufacturer. The company has a publicly stated goal to “Minimize or eliminate all substances known to be harmful to the health of biological or ecological systems.”
Nike Considered shoes were awarded product Design Excellence awards in 2006 & 2007 by ID Magazine. The Considered line for 2005 for men consisted of The Considered Boot, The Rock Shoe, the 2K5, The Mowabb II, The Tiempo, the CVT, The Spudnik and The Humara models. For women in 2005, the Considered line featured The Gem, the Women's Boot, and the Mule shoe. In 2006 the Humara was reconfigured for men and women. The Low4 and BB shoes were added for men, and the Blazer and Moc Mule were added for women.
Nike unveiled two new designs for their 2007 Considered line of shoes, which the company integrated into its All Conditions Gear (ACG) group. The new designs are pared down, less experimental and more active than previous versions of the shoe; according to the designers, they are looking at a younger mindset and "want to target those who are more focused on having fun in the outdoors." The integration of Considered into ACG is the first step in designing all shoes in the line with the Considered approach, a move which will be completed by summer 2008. The "Water Cat" is a water shoe made with minimal materials while still maintaining proper heel, ankle and toe support. The Soaker is also a water shoe, but is designed with street wear in mind as well. It uses fewer layers than many conventional shoes (the upper is a single layer of mesh, for example) and is built with "snap together tooling" which reduces toxic adhesives.
- Vege-tan leather with minimal lining to reduce the amount of material used in manufacturing and helps the shoe breathe. The leather is produced in a facility with very high environmental standards.
- Woven hemp and cotton fabric A vamp or upper and tongue is soft and flexible. It also helps the shoe breathe. Hemp is a premium, sustainable material.
- Laces are made with hemp and recycled polyethylene terephthalate which is typically made of used bottles.
- The welt stitch attaches the upper to the out sole to minimize the use of environmentally harmful adhesives.
- Phylite molded sole unit provides cushioning and support. Phylite is very lightweight and durable.
- Natural motion flex grooves increase flexibility for all-day comfort.
- Embossed swoosh uses no extra materials or chemicals.
- Additional lace holes for a custom fit.
- External "turned out" seams add structure and support to the upper. They also increase internal comfort.
- Soft and flexible collar construction increases comfort.
- Soft leather lining in heel and tongue reduces the amount of materials used. Lining is micro perforated to increase breathability.
- Flat, high contact bottom increases traction.
- Ergonomically deep-contoured last increase comfort and support.
Eliminating waste and toxic materials
- By carefully nesting the pieces to be cut for the upper, Nike reduced the amount of waste in the cutting process.
- By weaving certain parts of the upper on the Boot, Rock and Mule, Nike use only the length of material required.
- The company makes minimal use of linings and reinforcements. The design itself compensates for both.
- The outsole contains Nike Grind, made from recycled factory rubber waste.
- Injection molding of the phylon midsole – a process used elsewhere at Nike – produces less waste than conventional processes. With injected materials, production floor waste is minimized.
- The Boot, Rock and Gem products create 63% less waste than a comparable Nike light hiking shoe. The Slide and Mule create 33% less waste than conventional production practices.
- The Considered line of products reduces solvent use by over 80% compared with Nike’s typical products. This is above and beyond the 95% solvent reduction achieved under Nike’s current programs.
Using less energy
- Simpler design makes for fewer production steps, including less stitching. Fewer steps, at least in this case, means less energy.
- Materials are sourced closer to the factory – the majority within 200 miles (320 km) – so less energy is used for transportation.
- Producing the Boot, Rock and Gem requires 37% less energy in production than a comparable Nike light hiking shoe
Reducing waste at the end of the product’s life
- The products are designed to be more easily and effectively recycled in Nike’s Reuse–A-Shoe program
- The mechanical interlocking design of the outsole – which eliminates the need for chemical primers or adhesives – makes it easier to separate and recycle the components.
Nike employed boutique design firm Hunter Gatherer to create an animated spot for the Nike Considered line utilized in its viral marketing campaign.