Nike wants your help developing next generation of innovative, recyclable products

nike circular innovation challenge grind

Nike is running toward the future, and asking you to help propel it forward. In a call to all thinkers, makers, designers, and engineers, the athletics brand is looking to “turn innovation inside out” and further improve Nike Grind, the brand’s palette of premium recycled material. The company is here to prove that the second time around can in fact be better than the first, and to that end, is proclaiming that “it’s time to create better and waste less.” And it all starts with the Nike Circular Innovation Challenge. 

Comprised of two separate projects, the Challenge gives creative minds the option of either creating new products using Nike Grind materials, or developing new technologies to advance footwear recycling. The idea, of course, is to ensure that no Nike product ever goes to waste again, a mission that the company has been chasing since 1990, when it introduced its Reuse-a-Shoe program. To date, that initiative has managed to collect and recycle more than 30 million pairs of used shoes (including shoes not from Nike). This footwear has in turn been transformed into a brand new material known as Nike Grind, which has been used in the creation of more than 1 billion square feet of sports surfaces around the world.

And it’s not just tracks, courts, and the like that have utilized Nike Grind materials. Rather, by separating and then grinding rubber, foam, fiber, leather, and textile blends into a “wide range of granules,” Nike Grind can be found in everything from new footwear to apparel to play surfaces. And now, the company is looking to take things even further.

“The goal of this challenge is to identify promising new solutions for Nike Grind materials, so we can continue to create products that improve the lives of the people who use them, while reducing waste in the world around us,” the company noted in a statement. The first phase in the process will be the Ideation Phase, in which participants are encouraged to share concepts, stories, and insights with hopes of ultimately submitting the best proposal possible.

Then, up to 30 shortlisted concepts will be invited to the Refinement phase, where they will build and test solutions. These competitors, Nike says, “are invited to develop prototypes, scale-up plans, and other demonstrations of the solution’s ability to satisfy the goals of the challenge.” At this stage, folks can actually request material innovation kits for prototyping purposes, which means that they’ll be able to create a real proof of concept. And finally, a grand prize winner will be chosen — he or she will receive $30,000, while up to four additional innovators will be granted $5,000 each to further develop their concepts. But the company also points out that “all promising proposals will be considered for further partnership with Nike.”

All proposals are due by May 1, 2018, so if you’ve an idea on how to create the future of recycled material, Nike wants to hear your idea.

Home Theater

Dell drops $100 off this 49-inch LG 4K smart TV with a Memorial Day deal

There’s never been a better time to upgrade to a 4K TV, and that’s because Dell has slashed $100 off one of LG’s most popular 49-inch models, offering you an awesome picture from a small footprint.
Gaming

These are the 20 best Android games you can play offline

Even in our increasingly connected world, you don't always have an internet connection on the go. To help you pass the time when you're disconnected, we compiled a list of the best Android games that can be played offline.
Home Theater

Here’s what’s new on HBO and what’s leaving in June 2019

Whether you're a cable lifer or a staunch cord cutter, there's never been a better time to get down with premium TV. June 2019 brings the second season of Big Little Lies and the arrival of musical drama A Star Is Born to HBO
Gaming

Jumpman leaps into Fortnite with Epic Games-Nike crossover

Nike is teaming up with Epic Games right before the 2019 NBA Finals with the cosmetic Hang Time set, various challenges to earn styles and back bling, and a limited-time mode called Downtown Drop.
Outdoors

Chew up terrain with one of these trailblazing mountain bikes

Choosing a mountain bike is not easy — some may prefer a bike with more suspension, casual riders may only want something affordable. To help make the decision-making process easier, here are our picks for the best mountain bikes.
Health & Fitness

Coros pushes the limits with light, long-lasting Vertix adventure watch

Coros continues to turn heads in the fitness watch market. With a titanium frame and 45 days of battery life, the new Coros Vertix is the lightest and longest lasting adventure watch now available.
Deals

The Dragon Touch Vision 3 action cam is an affordable GoPro alternative

In the arena of action cameras, GoPro has long held a firm grasp on the top spot. Now, thanks to GoPro alternative Dragon Touch, which is currently on Amazon for just $50, you have a more affordable choice.
Deals

The Garmin Forerunner 35 gets a $50 price slash on Amazon

If you’re looking for an easy way to keep track of your fitness goals, a fitness tracker might be just what you need. The Garmin Forerunner 35 is one of our all-time favorites, and it’s on sale right now for $120.
Outdoors

Take on the forces of nature with one of the best backpacking tents you can buy

Whether you're headed out for the weekend or a thru-hike, these are the best backpacking tents you can buy. A proper backpacking tent allows you to stay comfortable no matter the weather, and won't weigh you down.
Deals

REI Anniversary Sale: Save big on these awesome Garmin smartwatches

If you’re in the market for a full-featured smartwatch that can do double duty as a detailed fitness tracker, look no further: For its Anniversary Sale, REI is offering savings of up to $150 on a few of the best Garmin fitness watches.
Deals

REI Anniversary Sale: Big price cuts on Patagonia, Osprey, and The North Face

The REI Anniversary Sale has big bargains on great equipment from brand names like Osprey, Patagonia, and the North Face right now. We’ve smoked out some of the best deals of the bunch that can save you cash on backpacks, jackets, and…
Deals

REI backpack deals: Save up to 35% on Osprey and Patagonia daypacks

If you’re in the market for a way to carry your gear without spending more than a Benjamin, then these REI deals on Osprey and Patagonia backpacks are just the ticket for your next overnight or weekend adventure.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Insect drones and kinetic sculpture robots

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Deals

The best budget-friendly GoPro alternatives that won’t leave you broke

Cold weather is here, and a good action camera is the perfect way to record all your adventures. You don't need to shell out the big bucks for a GoPro: Check out these great GoPro alternatives, including some 4K cameras, that won’t leave…