The Sportswear Giant Nike Is Making Biodegradable Sneakers Out Of Carbon

By: | August 28th, 2021

Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Over the last several decades, governments and big corporations have collectively pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere keeps rising.

The fashion industry also produces a high amount of greenhouse gases

However, Nike is taking steps in the right direction to get there by utilizing greenhouse gases as a fabric supply  for Nike sneakers. The sportswear giant has already successfully made sneakers out of trash.

The sportswear giant has partnered with Newlight, a biotechnology company to develop a process to convert carbon into a leather and plastic alternative.

Newlight’s proprietary AirCarbon material is more than carbon neutral, it’s carbon negative, and since it’s bio-based, its 100-percent biodegradable.

 “AirCarbon offers an opportunity to further, reduce our impact on the planet,” said Nike’s Chief Sustainability Officer Noel Kinder, in a press release. “Materials account for 70 percent of Nike’s total carbon footprint, and we’re accelerating our efforts and exploring new opportunities in this space because, in the race against climate change, we can’t wait for solutions, we have to work together and create them.”

How does Newlight manufacture its AirCarbon?

Newlight extracts microorganisms from the oceans that eat oxygen and carbon and convert them inside their bodies to polyhydroxybutyrate, also known as PHB. After more than 10 years of maturing, a process dries PHB into a white powder. This white powder can then be melted into various forms like fibers, sheets, and even solid shapes.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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