Home - T Singapore

This Nike Basketball Sneaker is Made of Trash

By Eugene Lim

Photograph by Nike.

Nike takes a big leap with the Cosmic Unity, the first performance shoe under the brand’s sustainability program, the Move to Zero, where the company seeks to create products that feature zero waste and zero carbon.


While the Cosmic Unity does not achieve that lofty goal, it is a step in the right direction. Kobe Bryant once famously had Nike shave off a couple of millimeters of the soles of his signature shoe in a bid to give him a hundredth of a second better reaction time.

Bennett Shaw, the product line manager for the Cosmic Unity, shares in that ethos of incrementally getting better, and in this case, closer to creating a performance sneaker that reaches the goal of the Move to Zero initiative.

“We're committed to try to improve the amount of recycled content by 5 per cent. With Cosmic Unity, we hit 25 per cent by weight", says Shaw.

To achieve that, the sneaker uses 10 per cent of Nike Grind rubber combined with other materials to create the Crater Foam midsole. Other elements like the layered cable systems where made with 99 per cent recycled content, with a sock line made of recycled polyester.

Photograph by Nike.

More than just its sustainable elements, the sneaker is built to withstand the enormous forces applied to it by pro players. The shoe comes with a full-length Zoom Air Strobel made of recycled TPU, that allows the designers to remove excess materials while allowing it to be more responsive, by allowing the wearer’s foot to come in direct contact with the Zoom air bag.

As impressive as all these technical elements are, the sneaker’s design is where the shoe truly stands out, melding bulbous elements on the soles and heel, with a streamlined upper. The use of the Nike Grind rubber always lends a nice texture to the shoe.

Another part where the Cosmic Unity stands out, is that unlike most modern basketball shoes, its unique design allows it transition seamlessly into a lifestyle sneaker. Combined with all the effort taken to make a performance shoe as sustainable as possible, it is indeed a giant leap for Nike.

The Nike Cosmic Unity will be available on Nike.com on the 25th of February. 

Photograph by Nike.
Related Articles
Popular Articles

T magazine

T: The New York Times Style Magazine Singapore’s best videos: digital house tours from around the world, behind-the-scenes looks at cover shoots and more.