It's only recently that footwear companies started taking sustainability seriously. Sure, some companies have been on the path of sustainability for years, but these are usually smaller brands that have a limited impact on the industry. Nike, on the other hand, is the biggest sports brand in the world, so it can do the most good for the planet – as long as it thinks more circularly.
A more circular future is the primary focus of Nike's latest experiment, the Bot Initiated Longevity Lab, or B.I.L.L. for short. B.I.L.L. is a robot-augmented system designed to clean and repair shoes with selected customisations, debuting in Nike Town London. It's time to get your old sneakers out of the cupboard and head to NikeTown London!
Using advanced robotics, old-school handcraft, water-based cleaning products and recycled polyester patches, B.I.L.L. is currently capable of extending the life of Air Force 1s, Air Jordan 1s, Space Hippie 01s, and Nike Dunks. After loading a shoe into the robot, a three-dimensional digital model of the shoe is created, pinpointing detailed areas of cleaning on the upper, sidewalls, and outsole. Shoppers can then select patches to repair wear-and-tear areas on the upper of their shoe.
Once B.I.L.L. has finished with the shoes (all in all, B.I.L.L. takes about 45 minutes to process a pair of Air Force 1s), Nike store athletes add new liners and laces made from recycled materials. During the time B.I.L.L. is available in Nike Town London, the service will be free of charge for shoppers.
B.I.L.L. will be available at Nike Town London throughout September. The experience is a pilot, says Noah Murphy-Reinhertz, Sustainability Lead, Nike NXT, and London will provide valuable insights that will guide the future of sustainable services in Nike doors. For more info, visit NikeTown London (opens in new tab) at 236 Oxford Street, London, W1C 1DE, G.B.