The Nike ISPA Link Series Advances Efforts Towards a Circular, Zero-Waste Future


Nike already has other sustainable efforts, but the biggest sports brand will continue to develop other ways to help the planet. The Move to Zero campaign is in full swing, so expect more eco-friendly products and collections to be introduced.

The last pair that made us want to really go green was the Nike Pegasus Turbo Next Nature. This pair used at least 50% recycled materials. Nike now presents a new collection of shoes and trainers that can be taken apart. Check out the Nike ISPA Link, and this pair is something you can easily take apart.

Designer: Nike ISPA


Nike ISPA stands for “Improvise; Retrieve; Protect; Adapt.” It is a design philosophy that challenges creatives to work on designs and begin experimenting and reinventing products. Nike aims for a circular system that results in reduced or zero waste. main objective is to truly protect the planet and the future of sport.

The Nike ISPA Link reminds us of the Layers Module Sneakers we recently featured. This pair is designed to be easily assembled and disassembled for easier recycling. It’s not primarily to say that Nike is working on more durable pairs. The Nike ISPA is also designed to perform. The first two pairs of the ISPA team are the Nike ISPA and Nike ISPA Link Axis.

Details Nike ISPA

The initial effort by the Nike ISPA Group should show the capabilities and possible future of sustainable or circular designs. The innovations aim to push the design of circular shoes to respond to the climate crisis. The results of the project are shoes that are both durable and flexible, thanks to innovations in shoe design.

Catalyst Footwear Product Design Vice President Darryl Matthews has this to say about the Nike ISPA: “Designed in partnership with engineering, creative and digital product development, these shoes are entirely informed by the manufacturing method – it’s a case of form following function. We hope these ideas and aesthetics will normalize , accelerating our ability to imagine how shoes will continue to evolve in the future.

Nike ISPA design

Nike is working hard to achieve its sustainability goals by 2025 and beyond. It’s only three years away, but we have no doubt it can be done. The Link and Link axis will further expand Nike’s many efforts. The Nike ISPA will not be the last as other innovations will be unveiled. New approaches will be discovered and implemented as Nike also works with other companies and industries. Nike design director John Hoke noted: “We have a responsibility to consider the complete design solution: how we source, manufacture, use, return and ultimately re-imagine the product. The goal is to make the material more important.

Such cross-industry collaborations will result in business models that work. New infrastructures should be put in place to make recycling products more accessible. Nike also invests in consumer take-back programs around the world. All of these efforts and more would help advance the brand’s ability to reuse products.

From a shoe design perspective, the ISPA Link is glueless, which means the pair does not need any heating or cooling process. The three interlocking modules of the sneakers take only eight minutes to assemble and perhaps even faster to disassemble. The upper of the shoe features threads made from different recycled materials. Dowels sit on the midsole and can fit through the openings in the upper. As the pair is nearing its end of life, you can simply take them apart and drop off the parts at a Nike store.

Nike ISPA sneakers

The Nike ISPA Link Axis is the most daring version. This is the upgraded pair with its 100% recycled polyester Flyknit upper. The latter fits over the outsole, so there is no need to glue or sew. Additionally, the TPU tooling used here is 100% recycled from scrap airbag material, while the TPU housing is 20% recycled.

There’s really nothing stopping Nike from working to achieve its many sustainable goals. A few years ago, Nike released its free circular design guide to help designers embrace sustainability. This Nike playground built with 20,000 recycled sneakers has already made quite an impression. The Nike Atsuma reduces material waste by creating an interesting inverted design. There’s also the Nike SB Dunk High Cork that lets you go eco-friendly in style.

Be sure to visit the “Plastic: Remaking Our World” exhibition at the Vitra Design Museum in Germany. Nike is participating until September 4 of this year. You will see the design and evolutionary path of the ISPA Link line. See how Nike’s enduring approach and intent lead to innovative design.

Nike ISPA Shoes

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