These vegan Nikes are made from 90% recycled Materials

Nike launched their “Space Hippie” line early 2020. With up to 90% of the upper materials sourced from recycled matter and no sacrifices made in the design process, it fuels our belief that the brand could be leading the industry into a new direction. Now, new color ways have been announced. A first glance.

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April 8, 2021

Words — Daniel Navetta
Photos — Nike

When these first dropped in 2020, I thought dang, this is what I’ve been talking about and dreaming about since I started my Instagram channel Air Vegan over two years ago! This is Nike innovation at its finest. I didn’t know where to start!

“No sacrifices have been made in regards to the looks of the shoe.”

When Nike the first installment of their “Space Hippie” line, they kicking of the program with four silhouettes made from scrap materials found on factory floors, another bold attempt at circular design. The shoes achieved some of the lowest carbon footprint scores that Nike has ever accomplished and quite obviously there have no sacrifices been made in regards to the looks of the shoe. In my humble opinion, they were just as ambitious as any other shoe on the market, if not more.

Nike Space Hippie - the vegan, recycled sneaker made with floor scraps - Antagonist
The original Space Hippie Line-Up
Nike Space Hippie - the vegan, recycled sneaker made with floor scraps, in new colorways - Antagonist
Nike Space Hippie - the vegan, recycled sneaker made with floor scraps, in new colorways - Antagonist
Space Hippie 04 in Aqua, planned release for Spring season 21

Back in 2020, Nike designer Noah Murphy-Reinhertz broke down the design of the Space Hipppie 02 as follows: “The basis for the engineered knits that form the Space Hippie uppers is created using what we call ‘Space Waste Yarn’. These yarns are made from 100% recycled material — including recycled plastic water bottles, t-shirts and yarn scraps. Combined with the other elements of the Space Hippie 02, we get an upper that is 90% recycled content by weight.”

“These yarns are made from 100% recycled plastic water bottles, t-shirts and yarn scraps.”

“For cushioning,” Murphy-Reinhertz continued, “Space Hippie uses factory scraps from the production of the Vaporfly 4% and reprocesses that ZoomX foam in a way that uses about half the Co2e as typical Nike foams.”

Nike Space Hippie - the vegan, recycled sneaker made with floor scraps, in new colorways - Antagonist
Space Hippie 01 in Obsidian, planned release tba
Nike Space Hippie - the vegan, recycled sneaker made with floor scraps, in new colorways - Antagonist
Space Hippie 04 in White Multi, planned release for Spring season 21
Nike Space Hippie - the vegan, recycled sneaker made with floor scraps, in new colorways - Antagonist
Space Hippie 01 in Melon Tint, planned release tba

People often ask why I have such a strong allegiance to Nike. (My Instagram account, though named “Air Vegan” is not a sponsored account, and I have never received free product.) Well, it’s because of projects like this!

“The future of sneakers is vegan — and it can be circular, too.”

Nike has always lead on innovation, and this type of design thinking is what the sneaker industry needs, not as a pet project, but as the mandate for all of us to accept if we want to lessen our impact on the environment.

I firmly believe that Nike can lead the industry into a new direction through innovation and leadership on all things sustainability.

Nike Space Hippie - the vegan, recycled sneaker made with floor scraps, in new colorways - Antagonist
Space Hippie 01 in Melon Tint, planned release for Spring season 21
Nike Space Hippie - the vegan, recycled sneaker made with floor scraps, in new colorways - Antagonist

Now the color ways we’re showing here is just the latest wave, expected to drop over the Spring Season of 2021. There have been other alterations of the line before, new colors, and hybrid models, like the Space Hippie x Air VaporMax or the Space Hippie x Converse Crater.

I’ll be posting about all these plenty on my Instagram and will feature all things Space Hippie and sustainable hype culture in general on Futurevvorld, my new venture. Stay tuned for more, and big props to the design team that brought these to life. Also, s/o to the sneaker blogs and writers who pushed this story and keep on keeping on.

The future of sneakers is vegan (and it can be circular, too).


To keep up to date, we suggest frequently checking the Nike website for Space Hippie availabilities.
Follow Daniel’s personal journey on @theairvegan
His new project Futurevvorld is to be found here: futurevvorld.com

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