Waste should not be wasted. It’s a simple concept driven by the belief that waste doesn’t exist in a circular economy. Back in the early 1990s, Nike was already envisioning a world without waste and innovating a circular process that would turn old sneakers into regenerated materials.
In 1993, employee Steve Potter started shredding old Nikes and turning them into reusable materials. From this vision Reuse-A-Shoe was born; a sneaker recycling program that collects end of life footwear from consumers and transforms them into Nike Grind, a suite of high-performance materials made from recycled footwear and manufacturing scrap.
Throughout the 1990s, Nike installed sport surfaces around the world and tested out new recycling processes which lead to the company’s first formal Nike Grind partnership with FieldTurf. Today, Reuse-A-Shoe makes it easy for consumers to recycle their worn-out sneakers. In fact, since launching Reuse-A-Shoe and Nike Grind, more than 32 million pairs of shoes and 120 million pounds of manufacturing scrap have been transformed into valuable material.
Nike Grind materials are used to transform community spaces – from basketball courts and playtop surfaces to running tracks and more. Nike has even used Grind in collaboration with artists it supports, including at the NikeLab Chicago Re-Creation Center c/o Virgil Abloh.
One of the longest-standing footwear recycling program of its kind will soon be available to more consumers globally.
If you have a retired pair of athletic sneakers* that you’d like to give a second life, you can drop them off at one of the 292 Nike stores with a Reuse-A-Shoe bin in North America and Europe.
Find a Reuse-A-Shoe bin here.
*Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe accepts any brand of athletic sneakers, but cannot currently recycle sandals, dress shoes, boots or any shoe with metal (cleats or spikes).