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Nike Unveils New App to Help Designers Create More Sustainable Apparel

As part of its commitment to helping design a better, more sustainable future, Nike this week launched a new app called MAKING, to help designers and product creators make informed decisions about the environmental impacts of the materials they choose.

MAKING, available for free download from the Apple iTunes store, is a designer-specific, easy-to-use tool that ranks textiles and other materials used in apparel based on four environmental impact areas: water, chemistry, energy and waste. Through direct comparisons, designers can quickly assess less impactful material choices. 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's 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.”

“Imagine if we could change these figures — the difference it would make,” said Hannah Jones, Nike's 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.”

With MAKING, Nike has provided designers around the world with a resource similar to ones the company has been using to guide its own design processes internally since earlier this year: In March, Nike announced a partnership with bluesign technologies to broaden the supply of sustainable materials and chemistries for use in Nike products. bluesign provides Nike’s supply chain with its bluefinder and blueguide tools. With bluefinder, suppliers can access more sustainable textile preparations such as dye systems, detergents and other process chemicals, manage restricted substances and find opportunities to increase water and energy efficiency. The blueguide gives Nike access to over 30,000 materials produced using bluefinder-approved chemicals.


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