Is Nike Forward the Future of Apparel?

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There are certain moments in the world of sports apparel that feel groundbreaking, take the release of Nike’s Vaporfly Next%, or the Flyknit material, for example.

For the simplest tweaks (probably not actually simple), or the implementation of a specific piece of technology can instantly change the way we not only look at activewear, but how we perform in it too.

Nike Forward is unquestionably exactly that: groundbreaking.

Officially launched today, Nike Forward is the result of five years of research and the brand’s latest proprietary material that uses fewer steps than other Nike knits, as well as significantly reducing the brand’s carbon footprint. In layman’s terms: it’s more eco-friendly and easier to make.

“Nike Forward feels different because it is different,” explains Carmen Zolman, Nike’s VP of Innovation Apparel Design. “It is not a traditional knit or woven, but a completely new material that drastically reduces its carbon footprint.”

Launching online on September 15 in the form of the brand’s iconic grey hoodie, Nike Forward all-in-all simplifies the entire garment-making process, by turning fiber directly to textile through a needle-punch technique, as opposed to the traditional multistage creation.

In-turn, fewer steps means less energy consumption, and a material that not only feels lighter, but comprises 70% recycled content and reaches up to 75% in carbon reduction.

“We believe this platform has the potential to reset the way we think about material and apparel,” says Aaron Heiser, VP Global Apparel Product Merchandising at Nike.

“This is the biggest Nike apparel innovation since Dri-Fit thirty years ago and has huge potential to transform the industry in the way that Air and Flyknit did for Nike footwear.”

While things might be starting out with everyday sweat products, Nike Forward’s ability to be made with a diverse range of layers – including industrial and post-consumer waste – means it’s undoubtedly a material for the future.

And if the advancements the brand has accomplished with innovations over the past thirty years are anything to go by, Nike Forward is going to be something special.



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