Nike Flyleather: the super material for sustainability

The giant in sportswear continues to research sustainable materials and presents a revolutionary leather destined to repeat the success of Nike Flyknit.

Jun 13, 2018
Posted in: , Sustainability

Flyleather is Nike’s answer to the increasingly high demand for sustainability by the market. Although genuine leather has always been the preferred material for many of its iconic footwear models, the need to reduce the environmental impact associated with the CO2 emissions and water consumption of leather has led this giant in sportswear to focus its research on an alternative solution.flyleather_web_durability_059_06b_4k_0021_hd_1600

That solution was Flyleather, a revolutionary and sustainable super material of premium quality, which is durable but light, and engineered for performance.

Flyleather is made from 30% discarded leather scraps occurring during typical manufacturing processes: the leather’s fibres are united with synthetic fibres and a fabric infrastructure via a hydro process that fuses it into one material. At this point, Flyleather goes throflyleather_web_sustainability_066_04b_4k_0001_hd_1600ugh various finishing processes, including pigmentation, and is completed by being put on a roll.

The look and feel of Flyleather is that of bona fide premium leather, but the difference between the two products, in terms of environmental impact, is substantial. Flyleather production in fact requires 90% less water than traditional leather. Moreover, the carbon footprint of the entire manufacturing process is 80% lower than traditional leather manufacturing. Last, but not least, by being produced on a roll, Flyleather can be efficiently cut with minimum waste when compared to traditional cut methods for full-grain leather.

Nike Flyleather perfectly imitates full-grain athletic leathers both in terms of look and feel – declares Tony Bignell, Nike Vice President of Footwear Innovation – Compared to traditional leather, Flyleather allows for the uninterrupted production of a wide range of products. This is why it is so sustainable for Nike: genuine leather is used in many of the brand’s iconic footwear styles, but for Nike it has the second greatest environmental impact in terms of CO2 emissions and water consumption. Flyleather could change all this.

The first shoe to use the new sustainable material will be the Nike Flyleather Tennis Classic, a white version of the premium sneaker available on This will be followed by the Nike Flyleather next generation limited editions, including Air Force 1, Air Max 90, Cortez, Jordan 1 and Tennis Classic.

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