Nike Engineers Plastic into a Jersey
Plastic bottles are recycled into a lightweight, high-performance soccer jersey.One would never guess what becomes of the plastic bottle he or she just threw away in a recycling receptacle. Like a lottery, recycled items are gathered at a nearby facility to be crushed and distributed to companies such as Nike, which has bigger plans in store.
For consumers, finding the right athletic clothing can be quite the challenge. One expects these articles to be as versatile as the activities they participate in. From rock-climbing at the gym, to a pickup game on the driveway, athletic clothing should feel light and airy. Plus, it has to be stylish; no one wants to wear the shirt that not only feels like sandpaper but looks like sandpaper, too.
In addition, everyone wants to be conscience of the environment, so buying a brand new polyester shirt does not exactly make the most sense, considering that these products use excess energy and resources instead of recyclable materials.
So, what is the solution? Where does one shop for functional, comfortable and environmentally friendly athletic apparel? Well, Nike is taking the lead by developing lightweight jerseys with Dri-FIT moisture control. Made of 100% polyester from recycled plastic, Nike apparel has the looks, feels great and impacts the environment even better than before.
This innovative technology debuted at the World Cup games in South Africa in 2010, with Nike engineering a way to take 13 water bottles (on average) and producing a high-performance recycled soccer jersey.
To show consumers how it engineered such a brilliant process, Nike Better World released a hyperkinetic video featuring Dutch soccer star Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. According to businessinsider.com, the video describes a rough 13-step process of how 13 plastic bottles become a knit jersey.
The process begins with recycled plastic running down a conveyor belt in a recycling facility. Slowly but surely, the plastic is broken down into thread and pounded into spools. Just like any other fabric, the thread is turned into cloth and dyed to fit its future purpose.
Then, the cloth is cut with a special die-cut machine producing the front and back of the jersey. A Nike specialist reviews the job by placing the trademarked swoosh in just the right spot. The logo is then pressed into the jersey in a manner similar to applying a temporary tattoo. After sewing the final pieces together, viola, we have a beautiful jersey made from plastic bottles.
Nike’s revolutionarily recycling process is taking a spin on consumers and asking them to think twice before purchasing a jersey made from virgin polyester. This new technology could be the future of all athletic clothing, helping to reduce our society’s carbon imprint in the process.
Many of Nike’s recycled polyester jerseys are for sale on Nike.com.