Anyone who’s spent a considerable amount of time in the Pacific Northwest is familiar with the slogan “Keep Portland Weird.” The campaign, meant to promote local businesses that gave the Oregon city its unique sense of character (i.e. Voodoo Doughnuts and Powell’s City of Books), but also succinctly summarizes what makes the city so special.
Nike’s heritage runs through the city’s veins, and its Beaverton headquarters similarly features the juxtaposition of modern architecture, natural forests, and local flavor that keep the vibe somewhere between futuristic and outdoorsy. That’s what makes its collection of so-called “Space Hippie” sneakers so interesting.
According to John Hoke, Nike’s Chief Design Officer, the “exploratory footwear collection” was conceived by a room of Nike designers who were given a scenario similar to the plot of Apollo 13: Make something that works out of the materials around you. Thus, scrap material for factory floors, recycled polyester yarns, and Nike’s famous Grind rubber (ground-up kicks often used to make athletic courts) combine into a collection of sneakers that Hoke describes as “rawthentic.”
Circularity is the name of the game in this collection, which includes a low-top, mid, and high-top for men, and one women’s exclusive low-top. The names of each silhouette is simply numbered the Space Hippie 1-4, and closures include laces, a slip-on, and Nike’s accessible FlyEase technology. The “Crater Foam” sole uses 15% Nike Grind rubber combined with 100% recycled ZoomX foam scraps for a lightweight feel with a rugged, kitbashed look. To top it off, everything about this collection—from materials, construction (no glue is used), and packaging—makes for the lowest carbon footprint score for Nike sneakers to date.
How to buy the Nike Space Hippie Collection
Model: Space Hippie 01, 02, 03, and 04
Key Features: Closures include laces, a slip-on, and Nike’s accessible FlyEase technology. The “Crater Foam” sole uses 15% Nike Grind rubber combined with 100% recycled ZoomX foam scraps for a lightweight feel with a rugged, kitbashed look. To top it off, everything about this collection—from materials, construction (no glue is used), and packaging—makes for the lowest carbon footprint score for Nike sneakers to date.
Release Date: June 11 (Asia and Europe), July 3 (USA)
Price: Ranges from $130 to $180
Buy: Nike and select retailers (see list below)
Editor’s Notes: The Nike Space Hippie collection is sustainable without making it a buzz word, focusing instead of spacey aesthetics that more than remind of Tom Sachs’ work with the Swoosh. Originally slated to be released June 11 worldwide, Space Hippie’s US release has been pushed back to July 3.
Where to buy the Nike Space Hippie Collection
The Space Hippie 1, 2, and 3 will be available June 11 (July 3 in the US) on the SNKRS/SNEAKERS app, Nike stores, select retailers, and resale. The women’s exclusive Space Hippie 4 will drop later this summer.
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