Nike has partnered with innovation think tank PopTech to help foster breakthroughs in green materials and create closed loop material systems. PopTech is a non-profit organization working at the forefront of thought-leadership and social innovation. The group is known for their ability to bring together a diverse network of thought-leaders to foster open collaboration around specific ideas of disruptive change that make a positive impact on the world.
Nike is the initial partner in PopTech's Closed Loop Materials Lab. The Lab's purpose is to help seek out new materials that are benign and low-impact on the environment. The materials should also be able to exist in new, large-scale closed loop material systems where the pieces in finished products can be used as inputs for new products. The group will pay special attention to materials used for apparel and packaged consumer goods as most of the traditional materials have a negative impact on the environment today.
By bringing together a group of carefully chosen experts over a year long innovation journey, the Closed Loop Materials Lab will evaluate such things as what type of sources should be used to generate new materials and what should the performance criteria be for acceptance? They will look at everything from the technology and chemistry used to make the materials all the way to policy incentives and industrial scaling.
Lorrie Vogel, Nike Considered GM said: "Nike has made huge strides in designing more sustainable products but we know we can't continue to tap the earth's declining resources to make new and more innovative products. We have to unlock the power of collective innovation to create a future where you can literally turn an old shoe into a new shoe or an old shirt into a new shirt."
The PopTech Closed Loop Materials Lab will kick off at a summit in the Spring of 2010. The group is invitation only but if you or your company would like to participate in the Lab, they are now accepting applications.
Check out the video below on a PopTech collaboration with Timbuk2 to create a bag that helps bring light to those without power.