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Nike Releases Free Circular Design Guide

by Rudy Sanchez on 05/21/2019 | 2 Minute Read

Nike, the sports apparel juggernaut with revenues totaling $36.4 billion in 2018 alone, released a circular design guide for others in the industry, recognizing both the imminent threat plastic waste has upon the planet and the need for a collaborative effort to tackle it. The shoemaker has decided to share the guide publicly, and it highlights case studies not only from Nike themselves but also from competitors such as Patagonia.

“We have an obligation to consider the complete design solution, inclusive of how we source it, make it, use it, return it and, ultimately, how we reimagine it,” says John Hoke, Chief Design Officer of Nike.

The company believes that design presents an opportunity to make the world a better place by applying principles of circularity which they define as “creating products that last longer and are designed with the end in mind.”

There are ten sections to the guide covering principles such as material choices, green chemistry, durability, and circular packaging. Each section typically begins with a quote from a Nike employee or an explanation as to why designers and brands should care about circularity, followed by Thought Starters" (brainstorming-style questions), a few short case studies, and then finally a few resources that serve as inspiration.

Rather than breaking new ground, Nike’s circularity guide plays like a greatest hits of sustainability design, including packaging ideas Dieline has highlighted in the past, such as Ooho and Ecovative. The guide is also demonstrable proof that sustainable design is possible by any company.

In the spirit of collaborative solutions, Nike developed the guide with students and staff at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, with a little inspiration from the Global Fashion Agenda, and insights from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

The entire guide is available here, or in PDF.