Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Eyes closed

So here's a weird one- Nike claims that the New Air Jordans (the XX3 for you sneaker heads) will be the first shoe made entirely with "sustainable materials." What that means, I have no fucking clue. Leather from a low impact animal like a buffalo? Recycled plastic bags? Locally grown produce? What? Does the shoe just last a long-assed time?

And what is the motivation for doing this? Is this kind of a bogus "organic as marketing gimmick" thing like you see with the big food companies? Does this mark a shift in the way multi-national corporations are thinking about their business practices or just their marketing? Was Pitchman-of-the-Century Michael Jordan involved in this? Is sustainability his new steez?

No, seriously, I want to know.

Also, does this mean that this particular Nike shoe is not made in a sweatshop somewhere in Southeast Asia? Frankly, I have too little information to do anything other than ask a long series of rhetorical questions.

If I can get some of these answered, then maybe I can finally get the lil' lady outfitted in some sustainable streetwear for her sustainable lifestyle.

[TMZ]: The New Air Jordan is finna be a green-assed shoe (with Photo)

Edit: Ask and you shall receive. I've been directed by a good semaritan to this page, which has the following specificiations:
Glue: Employs only water-based cements, reducing the amount of toxic solvents and wastes in the manufacturing process.

Red stitching: New "3-D" stitching fuses the midsole to the upper and an inner sock, reducing the need for glue while preserving comfort.

Side-panel stitching: Attaches outside leather layer to three internal layers, also reducing glue use.

Outsole: Rubber contains a more biodegradable additive and some recycled waste left over from the manufacturing of other footwear.

Inner bootie: Made partly of recycled polyester, reducing use of oil-based synthetics.

Chassis: Made from thermal plastic urethane, a recyclable plastic.

Manufacturing: Nike said it revamped its process of manufacturing the Air Jordan to reduce waste.
Apparently they've tried this before but the costs were about 25% higher than normal, so they incorporated these improvements into the Jordan, for which the consumer appeal is so high that price is almost irrelevant.

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