To compete with companies such as Adidas, which debuted 1 million pairs of sneakers made of recycled ocean plastic in 2017, Nike recently unveiled a new shoebox for its Air Max shoes — the same sneakers which changed the industry 30 years ago. The company partnered with Taiwanese architect and engineer Arthur Huang for the task and developed “sustainable and responsible” polypropylene packaging that is made from recycled coffee lids, milk jugs, and juice containers.
The lightweight shoebox was designed to neatly interlock for stacking and display. Most notably, the shoebox which is made from plastics derived from discarded consumer packaging was created without any added chemicals. “It cushions while at the same time reducing material usage,” said Huang, the CEO of Miniwiz.
“These are all intentional features and qualities which revolve around the intent of every Miniwiz product—reducing the impact on the environment in every way it can. In this case, we’re adding features and efficiency to an existing product—shoe boxes—and by reusing non-virgin materials in a sustainable and responsible way,” Huang added.
The innovative box splits diagonally in half to keep the shoes in place. Extra holes allow consumers to thread rope through the container and re-use it as a carry bag or backpack. If neither of those options seems appealing, the shoebox can also be recycled — again.
Dezeen reports that the packaging was designed for the Air Max Royal 01, which Huang also designed. It complements the shoes which are also made from recycled materials and are, reportedly, are the lightest Air Max 1 to ever be created. Clad in Nike’s Flyknit fabric, the shoes were made using a seamless technique that is said to produce 60% less waste than conventional cut-and-sew methods.
“What we do here is very simple, we try to use the stuff we throw away and turn that into the most sustainable way with the least carbon footprint to create a new product,” explained Huang. “It’s all about turning pollution into a solution for the future.”
Miniwiz is a Taiwan and Berlin-based studio that is devoted to finding new uses for waste, as well as reducing the impact of materials on the environment. The company recently opened a new office in Berlin that has recycled interiors, and has also created a hand-cranked power generator that is made from re-purposed electronic waste plastic and paper. Learn more here.
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