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Nike Flyleather is a new super material — made with at least 50 percent recycled natural leather fiber — that has the potential to be as game-changing as Nike Flyknit.
Nike Flyleather was born out of a challenge to evolve leather into the performance material it once was—before the invention of advanced performance materials like engineered mesh and Flyknit. The key was to do so while still preserving the things people love about leather: the look, feel and even the smell.
Another crucial factor was the desire to reduce the environmental footprint associated with leather manufacturing, which not only uses a lot of energy and chemicals, but also
results in a great deal of leftover scrap material. The mission became not only to invent a better version of leather, but also to reinvent the material production process to be more sustainable.
During a typical leather manufacturing process, scrap pieces are discarded and often end up in a landfill. Flyleather is composed of that discarded leather scrap from the tannery floor.
The scraps 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 put on a roll to be cut.
For Nike, leather is featured across many iconic footwear styles — but it has the second-highest environmental impact on the company's carbon emissions and water usage. Flyleather can change that.
• Creating it uses less water and has a lower carbon footprint than
traditional leather manufacturing
• Nike Flyleather is lighter and more durable than traditional leather
(based on abrasion testing)
• Because Nike Flyleather is produced on a roll, it improves cutting
efficiency and creates less waste than traditional cut-and-sew
methods for full-grain leather