Nike launches refurbished program to recycle sneakers

Sporting giant Nike has launched a refurbish program that allows customers to return Nike shoes that are then either resold, donated or recycled.

The refurbish program is a part of Nike’s sustainability initiative Move to Zero, to create a more circular customer offering while reducing its waste footprint. The program works by extending the lifespan for three types of footwear: almost new, gently worn, and cosmetically flawed.

If a shopper returns a pair of shoes to Nike within its 60-day return window, suitable footwear is added to the Refurbished program. The shoes are inspected and refurbished by hand using different methods and products from a Nike team member to return the shoes to their original new condition. The shoes are then given a condition grade and priced accordingly before being returned to the Nike shelf to be resold. Customers can scan a QR code on the box to see the shoe’s history and condition grade.

Gently worn footwear that doesn’t make it in the Nike Refurbished program is donated to local community partners. If the shoes are at the end of their wearable life or cosmetically flawed, they go into the Nike Grind machine to be recycled and turned into new material and products such as gym floors, tracks, courts, or new sneakers.

The Nike Refurbished program is currently available in 15 Nike stores across the US, with plans to expand to more US-based retail destinations throughout 2021.


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