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A Step Closer to Zero


The Nike Refurbished program is part of the company’s effort to recycle its products through a variety of means to reduce carbon emissions and waste. This involves two main methods: refurbishing and reselling old sneakers and recycling non-resettable shoes. This comes at a time when brands around the world are increasingly concerned with sustainability and are racing to develop innovations to establish themselves as the greenest company in their industries. Looks like Nike is not out of this growing trend either.

To reduce emissions and carbon emissions, Nike Refurbished encourages consumers to return instead of throwing away their aging Nike sneakers. Nike offers consumers a 60-day deadline to return their sneakers to participating stores. Upon return, each shoe is carefully checked and then hand-crafted, meticulously and adorably hand-painted using different products and tools. Once they have been restored to the best possible condition, they are classified into three different classes based on their status type. The three classes are “Like New”, “Light Worn” and “Smooth”.

“Like New” indicates that the shoe is in near perfect condition, with no signs of wear or tear.

“Light wear” refers to used shoes that are still in good condition, showing only slight signs of wear or with slight cosmetic defects.

“Aesthetically smooth” indicates that a shoe has little or no signs of wear but has some superficial defects like stains or discoloration.

Once graded, shoes are priced according to type of condition and type of shoes before being repacked and displayed in a special section of participating shops for resale. The packaging includes details about the type of shoe inside, its condition type and other information. Along with spreading sustainability messages and educating consumers about how they can do their part, the boxes even include a QR code that customers can scan to learn more about Nike’s Move to Zero.

In addition to preaching sustainability, including key details on packaging also demonstrates Nike’s commitment to brand transparency. With this initiative, it underscores how much achievement Nike has achieved since the unlucky days of using sweat stores even when it claims to honor human god.

Even if returned shoes cannot be restored and resold under Nike Refurbished, the brand will work with their community partner to donate shoes that have been slightly worn, benefiting the less fortunate people in society and giving these old shoes a new life. In the event that the shoes are returned in too serious a condition for resale, the shoes are recycled as brand exclusive. Nike Grind materials and used in the manufacture of new Nike products. They are even used by Nike partner companies to manufacture a wide range of products such as floor liners, runways, walkways, and more.

Pigalle Duperré basketball court in Paris, France, with the surface is made of Nike Grind material.

Nike has announced its goal of cutting carbon emissions by 70% by 2025. The brand also shows a desire to develop ways to reuse 10 times more waste from its products. With this latest initiative, it looks like Nike is on the right track in its pursuit of greener production. Currently, there are 15 Nike retailers across the United States confirmed as part of Nike Refurbished, despite plans to open more stores. TO find a Nike retailer in this program, check their store listing here.

All images courtesy of Nike.

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