Nike Flyleather is a new super material, made with at least 50 percent leather fiber, that has the potential to be as game-changing as Nike Flyknit.
During a typical leather manufacturing process, up to 15 percent of a cow’s hide falls to the tannery floor, eventually going to landfills. We reclaim these leather fibers to create a material that’s better for the environment. Then, those recycled leather fibers are combined with synthetic fibers and a fabric infrastructure via a hydro process with a force that’s so strong it fuses everything into one material. The material then goes through a finishing process, which can include things like pigmentation, and is finally put on a roll to be cut.
Nike Flyleather is 40 percent lighter and five times stronger than our other leather materials, based on abrasion testing. It has the potential to be incorporated into performance footwear like never before, especially in sports like football and basketball. Early on, many performance basketball shoes were made from leather, but over time, it was swapped out for other lighter, stronger, performance-engineered materials.
For Nike, leather is featured across many iconic footwear styles, but it has the second-highest environmental impact on our carbon emissions and water usage. Flyleather can change that. These are the top three reasons why:
- Creating it uses less water and has a lower carbon footprint than our other leather materials.
- A pair of Nike Flyleather shoes has approximately half the carbon footprint compared to Nike shoes made with our other leather materials.
- Because Nike Flyleather is produced on a roll, it improves cutting efficiency and creates less waste than traditional cut-and-sew methods for our other leather materials.
Not only does Flyleather enable Nike to create less initial waste, its process makes it one of Nike’s most sustainable innovations ever.