Nike has partnered with UK-based eco leather brand E-Leather to develop a new “super material” called Flyleather.
The textile innovation was created after the sportswear giant found the production of leather – its 10th most used upper fabric – was disproportionately unsustainable compared to its other materials.
The fabric is made by mixing loose fibres and recycled leather offcuts with a polyester blend to create a paste, which is then rolled out into sheets of “new” leather. Any waste goes back into the production process, creating a closed-loop cycle.
The flexible textile is five times stronger and 40% lighter than full-grain leather. It also uses 90% less water to produce and creates a carbon footprint 80% lower than traditional leather.
The eco-friendly material was appropriately launched to coincide with New York’s Climate Week (September 18-24) and forms part of Nike’s pledge to reduce its environmental footprint by 50% by 2020.