Nike app aims to help designers get materially better

The MAKING app explores several ways to ensure Nike uses the most sustainable materials.

The MAKING app explores several ways to ensure Nike uses the most sustainable materials.

Nike Inc. officials believe a new app will allow its designers to source materials that are more environmentally responsible.

The app, called MAKING, ranks materials used in apparel manufacturing in terms of the use of water, types of chemistry, amount of energy and the levels of waste required during production. Designers can use direct comparisons to similar material types.

Nike created the app itself with input from London College of Fashion's Centre for Sustainable Fashion students.

"Innovation is in Nike's DNA, and sustainability is an integral part of Nike's design process," said Lee Holman, Nike apparel design VP, in a release. "We've created the MAKING app to empower any designer around the world to make better materials choices in the initial stages of the innovation process to ultimately create products that are better for consumers and better for the planet."

The global apparel industry is expected to produce more than 400 billion square meters of fabric annually by 2015. That's enough to cover the entire state of California, according to Nike. Dye houses today use up to 200 tons of water for each ton of fabric that's processed.

"Imagine if we could change these figures - the sustainable difference it would make," said Hannah Jones, Nike's sustainable business and innovation VP, in a release. "Today, more than ever, we believe that systems innovation, transparency and sharing of tools and indexes will propel business and society towards a more sustainable future."

The Nike MAKING app also uses data from the Nike Materials Sustainability Index. The company made the data public as it seeks to help designers and product creators use materials with lower environmental impacts.

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