Nike to make a sneaker out of gas

Nike is so serious about getting carbon neutral.

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Nike to make a sneaker out of gas


The Future. Nike is so serious about getting carbon neutral that it wants to go carbon negative. It’s making a shoe out of literal carbon gas by partnering with a biotech company called Newlight. If Nike can maintain its trademark craftsmanship while creating a product that’s more than sustainable, it may turn buying sneakers into the new recycling.

Feet fuel
Nike is gassing up its sneakers.

  • Nike is partnering with biotech company Newlight on a shoe made out of carbon.
  • Newlight makes their material, AirCarbon, by turning carbon into a leather and plastic alternative.

The shoes are carbon-negative (since the process pulls carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere) and are 100% biodegradable.

Sole science
So how does Newlight pull off this carbon sorcery? The company pulls carbon-consuming microorganisms from the oceans that can convert oxygen and carbon into a property called polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB). This PHB is then turned into a white powder that can be melted to create different textiles.

And, yes, the science already works. Newlight actually has two brands that use the materials — a kitchenware company called Restore and an accessories company called Covalent.

Explaining the campaign, Nike Chief Accountability Officer Noel Kinder notes that, “materials account for 70 percent of Nike’s total carbon footprint, and we’re accelerating our efforts and exploring new opportunities in this space… in the race against climate change, we can’t wait for solutions, we have to work together to create them.”

In addition, Nike has been exploring how to make shoes out of trash… because no stone can be left unturned.


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