Nike Unveils New App to Help Designers Invent Better

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Nike Unveils New App to Help Designers Invent Better

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July 02, 2013

Nike Unveils New App to Help Designers Invent Better

New tool enables any designer to see environmental impact of material choices and create more sustainable apparel.
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As part of its commitment to designing a better, more sustainable future, Nike launches MAKING — a new app that helps designers and product creators make informed decisions about the environmental impacts of the materials they choose. 

MAKING is a designer-specific, easy-to-use tool that ranks materials used in apparel based on four environmental impact areas: water, chemistry, energy and waste. Through direct comparisons, designers can quickly see how material choices stack up. The app was created by Nike with insights and feedback from students at London College of Fashion’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion.

“Innovation is in Nike’s DNA, and sustainability is an integral part of Nike’s design process,” said Lee Holman, Nike VP of Apparel Design.  “We’ve created the MAKING app to empower any designer around the world to make better materials choices in the initial stages of the innovation process to ultimately create products that are better for consumers and better for the planet.”

According to industry data, by the year 2015, the global apparel industry is expected to produce more than 400 billion square meters of fabric annually — enough to cover the entire state of California. Additionally, dye houses today use up to 200 tons of water for each ton of fabric they process.

“Imagine if we could change these figures – the sustainable difference it would make,” said Hannah Jones, Nike VP of Sustainable Business and Innovation. “Today, more than ever, we believe that systems innovation, transparency and sharing of tools and indexes will propel business and society towards a more sustainable future.”

MAKING is powered by data from the Nike Materials Sustainability Index (MSI), a database built on more than seven years of materials research and analysis.  This data has been made public with the goal of helping to lead industry sustainability efforts and provide designers and product creators with guidance in selecting materials with lower environmental impacts. MAKING scores materials out of a possible 50 points.  Each material in the app is further ranked based on the specific environmental impact areas of chemistry, energy, water and waste, as well as whether the material uses recycled or organic content.

Nike worked with the London College of Fashion (LCF) to collect additional insight and feedback during the development of MAKING.  LCF is widely regarded as a leader in research and education of sustainable design, and students from their Centre for Sustainable Fashion used the app to create capsule collections.

“It was incredibly insightful to use the data in MAKING while creating our designs,” said Alasdair Leighton-Crawford, a student at London College of Fashion.  “The app helped us identify materials that have lower environmental impacts, without compromising the design process. MAKING shows that sustainability is not a limit, but an inspiring new way to look at product creation.”

MAKING is available to download free of charge from the Apple iTunes store.