Nike is a brand that is a worldwide leader in the fashion industry. Being in the forefront in the clothing market, Nike has a responsibility to establish high standards in every aspect of their business. Over the last decade, Nike was very criticized for poor manufacturing practices. They have gone to great lengths to change that reputation, which has inevitably led to improving sustainability.

These various environmental efforts really started gaining attention in 2008, when Nike set out to produce a sustainable shoe. This basketball sneaker was created out of scraps from foam and synthetic leather. Nike’s first shoe made out of recycled materials became affectionately called the “Trash Talk. Their new greener approach to business did not stop there.

Last year, Nike created and made available a database of its products and the environmental impact that they are having throughout this world. The database also provides interested parties very useful information regarding the impact of various materials. This collection of information became so popular, especially in the fashion design industry, that Nike created an App to make the knowledge more accessible.

The most recent strive towards sustainability, was not with a product but where the products are sold. Nike has constructed a store in Shanghai, China built completely out of unwanted materials from an area landfill. This has been years in the making and although it is made out of trash, in no way does it look trashy.

The structure is made out of 100% trash and over 5,500 soda cans, 2,000 water bottles and 50,000 CD’s and DVD were used. The ceiling of this Nike store is the focus of the project. 5,278 aluminum cans, recycled DVDs and rice husks built this astonishing suspension type ceiling.


Even with the trash standing 3 stories high, it ended up weighing only 50% of the average building. However this Nike store should be able to handle any natural disaster it faces. There is a great deal of opportunity to use our trash in a variety of ways. This is hopefully one of the many examples happening around the world.