Nike joins NASA, USAID to develop sustainable fabrics

Nike, NASA, U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. State Department have launched a challenge to create new, sustainable materials.

It's an effort to bring collective genius, unprecedented networks and new resources to overcome some of humanity's toughest sustainability challenges, they say.

"LAUNCH System Challenge 2013 seeks innovations that will transform the system of fabrics to one that advances equitable global economic growth, drives human prosperity and replenishes the planet's resources," the group says.

They are looking for innovations that potentially can scale in two years, as well as game-changing early stage technologies and prototypes. Innovations can be business models, financial instruments, technologies and programs that accelerate research, education and capacity building.

Specifically, they are looking for:

• Fabric materials that have positive social and environmental impact, such as multi-purpose synthetic and bio-synthetic materials; smart and/or self-healing materials; fabrics that efficiently and effectively enable recycling; and applications that eliminate toxins in fabrics.

• Processes for manufacturing fabrics that use low or positive environmental impact approaches, with a bias toward inclusive business models that positively develop human capital, respect rights and deliver shared value:

• Solutions that increase energy, water and raw material efficiency in the manufacturing process.
• Manufacturing processes and technologies that enable maximum conversion of materials and minimum consumption of natural resources.
• Solutions that put workers at the heart of the innovation process.
• Zero waste or closed-loop systems that eliminate waste and create equitable, empowered workforces.
• Scalable innovative business models that are sustainable and equitable.
• Manufacturing processes that reuse waste.

Nike logo image by ~ezs via Compfight cc.

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