A tougher, greener shoe

Popular Science - - BEST OF WHAT’S NEW 2017 -

Mak­ing sneak­ers out of leather is waste­ful: About one-third of a cow’s hide can end up in the trash. To stretch this re­source, Nike pulps the waste and re­con­sti­tutes it on a gauzy fab­ric sub­strate; the re­sult­ing re­cy­cled ma­te­rial is lighter and more abra­sion­re­sis­tant. Plus, the com­pany can add struc­tural lay­ers to engi­neer shoes in a way not pos­si­ble with first­pass hide—and the car­bon foot­print is 80 per­cent lower.

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