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The Flyknit Racer and Flyknit Trainer shoes made their debut last week – both are unique in that they use only the materials needed to knit the upper of a shoe.

Whereas traditional footwear manufacturing processes use a number of materials and cuts, the Flyknit shoes use special yarns knitted together to create one lightweight, form fitting upper.

Nike has also expanded the use of recycled polyester in its sportswear products by melting down recycled PET plastic bottles to produce new yarn. This is then converted into fabric to create high performance apparel.

Products featuring high levels of recycled polyester include Nike’s Elite basketball shorts (100%) and jersey fabrics (96%). The uniforms are made using an average of 22 recycled plastic bottles.

Nike says this process not saves raw materials, but reduces energy consumption by an estimated 30% compared to manufacturing virgin polyester.

Maxine Perella

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