The uniforms Team USA will don as they step on the medals podium in Tokyo Olympics this summer will be partly made from recycled shoe parts, Nike revealed this week.
The sportswear company unveiled the new designs at a fashion show Wednesday evening and said in a statement on their website they were “inspired by the recycled materials that make up the medals” as well as “Japanese kimono design.”
The national team logo and other parts of the outfit will be made from recycled athletic shoes and surplus manufacturing scraps. Meanwhile, the jacket and pants will be made from 100% recycled materials including nylon and polyester.
The medalists will also be given Nike Vapormax shoes which are made from 75% recycled manufacturing waste.
Sustainability is taking center stage at the Summer Olympics this year in Tokyo. Organizers for the 2020 games revealed last July that the medals will be molded from recycled consumer electronics that have been collected from members of the public over the past few years.
About 6.81 million phones as well as an untold number of digital cameras, laptops and other devices were donated by the Japanese public to construct the medals, the organizing committee said.
Nike’s announcement of recycled garments for the nation’s top athletes come as the fashion industry faces immense pressure to reduce its carbon footprint.
The industry is the second-largest consumer of water and responsible for approximately 10% of global carbon emissions, the Associated Press reported, citing United Nation’s data.
Moreover, younger consumers have also indicated their desire to spend on sustainable products.
A December survey from retail analytics group First Insight found that a vast majority of Gen Z shoppers prefer to buy sustainable brands, and are even willing to spend 10% more on sustainable products.