BEAVERTON, Ore. — Nike is focusing on sustainability with its new line of clothing announced Tuesday.
The new product line "Forward", which took five years for the Beaverton-based company to create, will start off simple — just crewneck sweatshirts and hoodies, but the material is where Nike is innovating.
Nike will streamline the production process to use less emissions by using a single step "needle-punch process— similar to what is used in the automotive and medical manufacturing industries. The company estimates this will lead to the new line producing 75% less carbon emissions.
The Forward clothing will also be made out of 70% recycled material by replacing cotton or nylon with light-weight plastic flakes.
The hoodies will also be made without any dyes, chemicals additives or zippers. The manufacturing process for the hoodies also doesn't require any water, making it even less taxing on the environment.
The introduction of the Forward hoodies is just the first step Nike is taking in a 30-year plan to address the sustainability concerns of consumers. This includes phasing out products that include dyes, zippers, aglets or extra trims.
In recent months, there has been a push in Oregon for sportswear companies to create more sustainable products.
In July, activists protested outside the Columbia Sportswear store in downtown Portland to demand that the company stop using PFAS in their products. PFAS are long-lasting chemicals that have recently been identified as being connected to some forms of cancer. Columbia has since discussed a plan with the Natural Resources Defense Council to phase out the chemicals.
According to the Oregon Environmental Council, the fast-fashion industry is responsible for more carbon emissions than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. The industry is also expected to increase its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% in the next decade, according to a study by Princeton University.