Nike Sustainability – Top 5 Most Used Materials By The Sports Giant

Nike Sustainability – As the negative consequences of using plastic and other polluting materials in fashion have become evident, many sports apparel brands have discontinued the use of environmentally damaging materials from their manufacturing lines.

Nike is one of the latest sports footwear and apparel giant that has been working hard to change their practices, and yet, nobody knows how.

A journey into their production headquarters gives an eye-opening insight into the type of materials Nike uses now, in particular, five materials worth talking about.

Nike Sustainability – Recycled Polyester

Nike recycled plastic bottles clothing

The first one is ‘polyester’, a significant component in Nike’s products, known as one of the most used plastics in the fashion industry.

Nike’s usage of raw polyester has decreased over the last five years, and in 2019 the company reached 25 per cent polyester from recycled plastic wastes.




The company gathers and breaks down recycled plastic into smaller pieces.

It then melts and turns them into pellets that can be used to manufacture any apparel products.

Nike Sustainability – Rubber

Nike Rubber Shoes

‘Rubber’ is another key material used by Nike. Mostly used in the soles of millions of Nike footwear pieces, the rubber Nike uses comes from the so-called ‘rubber pressing’ factories.




These factories are the only eco-friendly source of recycled rubber on the planet, which help Nike in creating its type of rubber formulation ‘cooked’ with vegetable oil rather than synthetic oils and toxic chemicals.

Nike Sustainability – PVC Alternatives

Nike PVC alternatives

The third important material used in Nike’s apparel and shoes is the Ethylene Vinyl Acetate, or simple, the EVA foam.

This synthetic material has been formulated as an environmentally safe alternative to PVC.

EVA foam is used to make the padding of Nike shoe soles, and it is now used in shoe factories across the world.

Nike Sustainability – Organic Cotton

Nike organic cotton shoes

Cotton is the 4th most used material by Nike in their products.

However, the American company has proudly announced that they have shifted to organic cotton, with over 6.7 million kilograms of organic cotton already in their apparels.




The difference between conventional and organic cotton comes from the use of toxic chemicals or fertilizers in the conventional one, with disastrous consequences to animals and the planet.

Nike Sustainability – Vegan Leather

Nike vegan leather shoes

And who would have thought that one of the most materials used by Nike is vegan leather, so much so that Nike’s vegan leathers are carefully produced for different purposes?

Nike has never been a stranger to leather alternatives.

In fact, the company has been using synthetic leather for many years in its sneakers, given its similar characteristics and lower price.

However, as Nike’s synthetic leather was obtained from polluting resins later heated to ‘plasticize’, the company has replaced it with eco-friendly, vegan-friendly leather-like materials.

As a company, Nike has taken the ethical production seriously and nowadays, its brands, retailers, manufacturers, partners, technical experts and chemical suppliers are carefully chosen for their environmental stewardship, and reliable ethical protocols.

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