Being more sustainable is hot in sports manufacturer circles, and I'm glad it is. There is a long way to go until we can achieve truly sustainable processes at a large scale, but most brands are doing their bits to get there – one step at a time. Nike's latest innovation, the Nike Forward, is a result of over five years of research and development and is said to be the company's most significant apparel innovation since Dri-Fit.
As Nike explains, moving away from traditional knit and woven processes, Nike Forward revolutionises apparel creation by 'hacking' punch-needle machines to make premium, sustainability-minded products. The new Forward process of material fabrication reduces the steps it takes to create new fabrics by turning fibre directly into textiles through needle-punch. Fewer steps mean less energy consumption, contributing to an average of 75% reduction in the carbon footprint for this first-generation material compared to traditional knit fleece.
Nike Forward material also has a lighter density than traditional knit fleece, which, according to Nike, is crucial to reaching 75% carbon reduction. The finished product is comprised of 70% recycled content by weight. Nike Forward debuts in the form of a grey hoodie, which 'forgoes embellishments and dyes, favouring raw cut pockets and zero water usage', Nike explains.
The Nike Forward platform is purpose-built and created for 'future circularity'. The first iteration of Nike Forward products is made without zippers, aglets or extra trims, making it easier for the garments to be recycled. Nike Forward can be made with a diverse range of layers, including industrial and post-consumer waste. Nike Forward debuts in Hoodie and Crew styles. Releases globally 15 September 2022. For more info, visit Nike (opens in new tab) today.