Though he may not be as popular as say Michael Jordan in his heyday, it’s probably safe to assume most people recognize the name Steve Nash. A two-time NBA MVP, he’s the guy who looks more like a snowboarder than a basketball player, the one who you’ve probably seen flying down the court at warp speed or firing off a behind-the-back pass without a second of hesitation. Along with being one of the most passionate and intelligent players in the game, he’s also one of the most environmentally conscious – as exhibited by his latest collaboration with Nike.
While Nash joined the ranks of Jordan and other basketball stars who’ve gotten their own signature shoes a couple years ago, his latest shoe offers up something a little different. The Nike Trash Talk is the first performance basketball shoe made from manufacturing waste. That’s right – waste. The Trash Talk is composed from scraps leftover during the production of other sneakers. The upper area of the shoe is created with leather and synthetic leather waste stitched together in a zigzag pattern. The mid-sole area incorporates scrap-ground foam from factory production, while the outsole uses environmentally-preferred rubber. The recycled material is matched with a distinct design that calls attention to the eco-friendly nature of the shoe. Though it looks like it was made for stylistic purposes, the close stitching actually allows for the use of small scraps in making the shoe.
In terms of performance, the shoe is modeled after Nash’s current Nike shoe, the Nike Zoom BB II Low. That shoe is designed specifically for quick, athletic players like Nash and Tony Parker. Described as being “ultra-light” and “ultra-stealthy”, the Nike Zoom BB incorporates Zoom(TM) technology for “quick and deadly court response” (whatever that means). The Trash Talk’s are intended to give players the same performance – with the added benefit of being as easy on the environment as they are on a player’s feet. It’s an addition that seems to fit well with Nash’s personal philosophy. “Any opportunity to promote the environment and preserve our planet is a step in the right direction,” the Phoenix point guard remarked.
Lately, Nike has been making a more concerted effort to incorporate “green” elements into their sneakers. Though not highly touted in its marketing campaign, the most recent pair of Nike Air Jordan’s (the XX3) also were “green” shoes. The XX3s use a minimal amount of adhesives and glues that are considered environmentally unfriendly, instead relying on a system of interlocking panels. Both Nash and Jordan sneakers are products of the new “Nike Considered” initiative. The program challenges designers to use environmentally preferred materials, reduce waste, create sustainable manufacturing processes and use innovation to help reduce overall impact.