A couple of weeks ago Nike unveiled a for-general-consumption version of their Environmental Apparel Design Tool. It is a replica of the calculator they use in-house when putting together their Considered Design collection, and is said to leverage "Nike's collected data from more than a decade of evaluation of materials, and the examination of waste footprints in hundreds of apparel products across all sport categories."
"This tool is about making it simple for designers to make the most sustainable choices right at the start of the product creation process." said Hannah Jones, Vice President of Nike Sustainable Business and Innovation. Take it for a spin.
Material Assessment Tool. Click Image for larger view. Image: Nike
But before you expect too much from the Nike Environmental Apparel Design Tool, be aware that it does have some limitations, like not evaluating a product's entire supply chain, including packaging or transportation. What is does do is "measure impacts in the design and development phases of the product process, the elements within the control of most product creation teams."
Environmental Design Tool. Image: Nike
Apparently seven years and six million dollars in the making, the tool allows designers to enter in materials, fabric treatments, components, processes, etc and generate a score for environmental impact. Assessments of varied product, material, and process mixes can be benchmarked against one another to arrive a a more environmentally product design.
Hannah Jones again: "By releasing the tool we want others to improve on it and we hope to inspire further collaboration to create global industry standards for a level playing field, encourage widespread industry adoption of sustainable design practices and have more sustainable products available for the consumer."
The release of Nike's Environmental Apparel Design Tool is expected to be joined in 2011 by the company's Footwear Design Tool, Material Assessment Tool and Water Assessment Tool. Although we note that the Material Assessment Tool already seems to have some web presence, with Nike suggesting, "Materials make up 60% of the overall product sustainabily [sic] score."
Click the link to Nike Considered Design Index for more detail on their eco design initiatives.
Nike Environmental Apparel Design Tool via media release.
More Nike and the Environment
• Nike Considered: Hope for The Sinners?r
• Nike Considered -- Going Cheap
• Nike Considered 2007: Take 'Em Outdoors
• Peter Senge and the Nike Sustainability Team: In Conversation
• Nike Creates World Cup Jerseys From Landfill Plastic
• Nike Strategizes on Deep Green Future
• Nike's Trashy Sneakers: Top Honors at Design Awards