Nike has committed to designing all footwear to meet the company’s established standards, identified under an ethos called Considered.

Senior creative designer for Nike Running, Kasey Jarvis, is leading the way and his latest innovation, Trash Talk, has now been rewarded with the Best in Show Award at this year’s IDEA Awards. Trash Talk is the first performance basketball shoe made from manufac-turing waste.

Jarvis says he was inspired to create Trash Talk after a trip to Vietnam where he was overwhelmed by the volume of waste materials from surrounding footwear factories.

“The experience of seeing all that scrap material was pretty shocking and it encouraged me to start experimenting with ways of re-using and re-processing footwear materials. We built concept models and tried limited sample runs which were fairly successful and convinced us that shoes made from waste had real potential.”

Jarvis suggests that the major challenges included developing higher volume processes along with strict performance guidelines of traditional footwear. “We worked through the manufacturing challenges of producing ‘trash’ shoes in higher volumes and then still faced the challenge of getting the shoes into the marketplace in meaningful way.”

It didn’t take long to convince champion basket-baller Steve Nash of the benefits of a sporting partnership. The All-star guard for the Phoenix Suns loves the shoe and hopes to inspire others.

“We pitched the idea to Steve and with this support the whole project has taken off,” said Jarvis. “One of the most exciting things is that it continues to spread within the company and into other categories of footwear and we now have Trash Talk 11 and Trash Talk 111.

“The success drives us to be more creative as we find ways to re-use and eventually eliminate waste materials.”

According to Nash, the Trash Talk shoe is a step in the right direction. “Any opportunity to promote the environment and preserve our planet is worthwhile … I’m very excited to be one of the first athletes to wear it and hopefully I can inspire others to try it out as well.”

The Nike Trash Talk meets Nike’s Considered design standards in a variety of ways including the use of waste from the factory floor. Jarvis points out the features of the award winning shoe, drawing attention to the way the upper is pieced together from leather and synthetic leather waste using zig-zag stitching as well as the use of scrap-ground foam in the midsoles.

The outsole uses environmentally-preferred rubber that reduces toxins and packaging is in fully recycled cardboard boxes. 

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