Nike’s Flyknit—an innovative, versatile woven fabric that improves your shoes and your sports bras alike—is getting a younger “super material” sibling. Get ready to meet Flyleather, a textile made from recycled leather and synthetic material. According to Nike , the material is created in a closed circuit—leather scraps are combined with synthetic fibers and turned into paste before being rolled out into sheets of Flyleather. The sheets are used to produce shoes, and unused scraps of the material get recycled into new batches of Flyleather.
The process uses 90 percent less water and has an 80 percent lower carbon footprint than traditional leather. The process uses 90 percent less water and has an 80 percent lower carbon footprint than traditional leather, which Hannah Jones, Nike chief sustainability officer and innovation accelerator VP calls “an important step toward ensuring athletes always have a place to enjoy sport.”
Aside from being kinder to the planet, Nike claims that the material is softer than traditional leathers (say goodbye to those painful “I’m breaking them in” periods) and also five times more durable.
The first Flyleather kicks available for purchase are Tennis Classics (available online and at select NYC stores). Nike has however created special edition Flyleather versions of the Air Force 1, Air Max 90, Cortez, and Jordan 1 that are available only via an online competition.