The Making App

Everyone loves a “feel good” app, and this one, created by Nike, comes with an eco-purpose; to change the way designers approach the creation of a new product.

While garment manufacturers are normally the ones in the hot seat when it comes to energy and water consumption, according to the Guardian Nike estimates that materials actually make up approximately 60% of the lifecycle environmental impact of traditional products, like a pair of runners. Manufacturing, on the other hand, only accounts for around 25%, while the remainder is divided between transport, retail, office facilities, packaging, use and disposal.

Nike hopes that “Making” will encourage designers to re-think the impact of the materials they choose to work with. According to Earth Techling, Nike consulted with students at the London College of Fashion’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion in an effort to make a user-friendly product that designers would find useful and practical in the creation of new product.

How does it work?

The “Making” app is essentially a tool that ranks 22 of the most commonly used materials out of a potential 50 points based on four key areas: water, chemistry, energy and waste. The app also points out whether a material is recycled or organic, drawing upon data stored in what is known as the Materials Sustainability Index (MSI). The MSI was created by Nike and includes the most commonly used materials and their corresponding environmental footprint. Wired reports that the “cradle-to-gate” database took more than six years to complete and includes 75,000 items found in the company’s material library.

Helping consumers make smarter choices

While the product was created for designers, consumers will also benefit from being able to research materials used in the production of some of their favourite brand name products. Whether or not this power will motivate retailers to carry “greener” products has yet to be seen, but Nike is banking on it, and getting ahead of the game by introducing new products into their killer line up.

The latest piece to hit the shelves, released in May of this year, is the new English soccer kit. According to Nike, the kit is made entirely from recycled polyester; more specifically, shirt and shorts are made up from up to thirteen recycled plastic water bottles that have been chopped up, melted down and spun into fabric, reducing energy-use by 30% and helping divert millions of bottles from landfill.

Watch this video about Nike and the Making App here!

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image credit: Çağlar Şaşmaz