Circular Design Comes To Fruition: Introducing Nike's ISPA Link
Fans of the Swoosh know the Nike can design a covetable shoe. What takes that feat to the next level: designing one that’s built to perform then be taken apart and recycled.
That was the remit for the Nike ISPA team. ISPA (Improvise; Scavenge; Protect; Adapt) is a Nike design philosophy that challenges creators to experiment, break molds and reimagine products. In this case, it helps move Nike closer to its circular vision — a closed-loop system that yields no waste — to help protect the planet and the future of sport.
For more than 30 years, Nike teams have pursued design solutions in service of the athlete and the planet. They’ve unlocked new, lower-impact materials and created pinnacle performance footwear and iconic lifestyle silhouettes leveraging recycled content. As the climate crisis has intensified for athletes around the world, Nike teams have shifted into a higher gear, embracing circular design principles as creative accelerants. Those include the 10 principles outlined in the Nike 2019 Circular Design Guide, an open-source workbook to share learnings and insights with the larger design community and anyone interested in how design can help lessen impact on the planet.
This season, Nike’s ISPA team considered the circular design principle of ‘disassembly’, or the ability to easily take a product apart to recycle its contents, one of the more challenging principles to implement in footwear design. A good shoe is flexible and durable. Traditionally, designers use glue and other bonding elements to achieve these aims, but that makes a shoe nearly impossible to disassemble and recycle. Recycling shoes usually requires shredding, an energy-intensive process that limits how the recycled materials can be used. Creating a shoe that can be taken apart would reduce the carbon footprint of the product and open up new possibilities for its life cycle.
The ISPA team tackled the disassembly challenge. ‘Designed in partnership with engineering, digital product creation and development, these shoes are completely informed by method of make where form follows function, something that will continue to evolve into the future.
The ISPA Link will release through our online store this coming Thursday the 23rd of June from 12am AEST.
Both the Enigma Stone, and Desert Moss colourways will be available in sizes US5 through to US14 (including some half sizes) for $310AUD.