Upcycling clothing items is more relevant than ever in 2022. With waste growing larger and more eyes on sustainability, several initiatives are coming up with their own creative ways to recycle old Nike items. From creating sneakers with recycled materials to designing chair covers, this is how Nike items are recycled.
Upcycling in the fashion industry
Sustainability has become an increasingly important term in these times. Many big brands realise their impact on the growing mountain of waste and are doing their bit to solve this problem in their own way. Brands like Nike, adidas, New Balance and many more are increasingly using recycled materials in their products. With its Move To Zero campaign, Nike focuses on sustainability and adidas has been running a partnership with organisation Parley since 2015.
The term upcycling is similar to recycling, but has a different function. For instance, recycling is mainly about reusing existing materials and upcycling is more about creating new items from existing items. Think of reusing clothing items in creating accessories or items for the home. Creativity is central to this process.
Upcycling in the fashion industry is becoming a growing phenomenon. More and more initiatives focus on making unique items with old clothing items and sneakers from brands such as Nike. Also on a Dutch basis, there are several initiatives that design new products with sustainability in mind.
A well-known initiative, is Peterson Stoop. In 2013, shoe repairers Jarah Stoop and Jelske Peterson came up with the idea of upcycling sneakers. Both were previously active as shoe repairers, but soon noticed that there were not many places where sneakers could be repaired. Under the name Peterson Stoop, combination of both surnames, the two came up with the idea of giving worn sneakers a second life in unique designs.
Second-hand sneakers from brands such as Nike, adidas and Asics get a unique makeover and feature the signature cork sole. This gives the sneakers a unique twist and makes them last longer. In addition, cork is a sustainable material which is easy to recycle. The designs are available by appointment, to prevent overproduction.
Another Dutch initiative, is Studio Hagel. Founder Mathieu Hagelaars started Studio Hagel about seven years ago, a design studio centred on innovation. With 'MakersMonday', Hagelaars challenged himself to create a sneaker using the most unique materials. From paper, to Styrofoam and polystyrene foam, the most unique silhouettes were created. This resulted in collaborations with names such as Virgil Abloh, Takashi Murakami, Valentino and in 2022, the studio launched its own sneaker line: HAGEL. The sneakers from this line are made with sustainable materials.
From Nike shirts to handbags
Names like Mini Swoosh and Saint Muse are also hot when it comes to upcycling. Alexandra Hackett, founder of Mini Swoosh and Studio ALCH, came up with the idea about six years ago to turn second-hand Nike items into accessories such as bags, clothing items and even home accessories. The Australian designer is known for her sleek designs centred on the Swoosh.
Sam Zegelink, better known as Saint Muze, also uses Nike items as inspiration in her designs. The 22-year-old designer designs bags and clothes from old items from brands such as Nike, The North Face and adidas. Her puffer bags, in particular, are going fast and are characteristic of the Saint Muze brand. With her upcycled items, she has already achieved a lot at a young age and her items were recently seen at the Color of Fashion runway.
The well-known puffer bags are made from vintage shirts. The items can be made on request via the website. Here, you can request what kind of item you want and which brands should be featured in the design. Upload photos of inspirations and within two days you will be told when you can receive your custom bag. On an episode of the Queens & Sneakers Show, Sam talked about how founding Saint Muse went.
These are some of the initiatives engaged in upcycling Nike items. Don't forget to download the Sneakerjagers app and stay up-to-date with the latest releases and news.