This New Sports Playground Is Made From 20,000 Pairs Of Recycled Nike Shoes

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As part of its vision to be zero waste and circular, sportswear giant Nike has built a community basketball court in Hong Kong — Shek Lei Grind Court from Nike Grind — derived from 20,000 pairs of used sneakers. The court surface is made of recycled and regenerated materials like plastic, rubber, and leather.

Situated in Kwai Chung residential neighborhood in Hong Kong, the court’s surface at Shek Lei Grind Court is constructed out of Nike Grind which contains recycled materials like plastic, rubber, foam, fiber, and leather.

Nike Grind

Founded in 1992, the Nike Grind project works to repurpose old shoes. Evolving into a global sustainability program, the initiative’s effort is now to prevent these shoes from ending up in landfills. The mixture contains granules developed from recycled and regenerated materials from recycled athletic footwear, additional manufacturing scraps, and plastic bottles.

In its recent Impact Report for FY20, it highlighted the company’s new 5-year target plan which aims to focus on People, Planet, and Play. Keeping this in mind, Nike Grind will be massively scaled and used as a means of expressing public art.

To date, it has been used on 10,000+ surfaces like the running track at Brillia Running Stadium in Tokyo Japan; turf field at Silverlakes Turf Field Complex in Norco, U.S.; and basketball courts at Sacramento in the U.S. and Man Kiu Association Primary school in Hong Kong.

Shek Lei Grind Court

Well-known illustrator and toy designer James Jarvis has been invited to shape the visuals of the Shek Lei Grind Court on the courts’ Nike Grind surface. His designs will showcase signature sphere characters playing basketball on the courts to new artistic expressions.

Shek Lei Grind Court. Source: Nike

In addition, Nike has collaborated with People’s Place, under the management of Gaw Capital Partners. They are known for revitalising spaces to encourage creativity and a sense of belonging in local communities. Apart from the court, another project they are working on is the Shek Lei Shopping Center.

“At Nike, we know that the future of sport is directly connected to the future of our planet,” chief sustainability officer of Nike, Noel Kinder said in a statement. “Every company has a footprint, and we want our footprint to help shape a better world. To do that, we’re harnessing Nike’s innovative spirit and scaling sustainable solutions to reduce waste and combat climate change.”

Source: Nike

At Nike, we know that the future of sport is directly connected to the future of our planet. Every company has a footprint, and we want our footprint to help shape a better world

Noel Kinder, chief sustainability officer of Nike

Reuse-A-Shoe

Set up in early ’90s, the Reuse-A-Shoe program to date has repurposed over 32 million pairs of shoes. Nike is now extending its global program, with a pilot in Hong Kong, through the Shek Lei Grind Court. The one in Hong Kong focusses on transforming used athletic footwear of any brand into recycled materials, giving the items a new life.

Through the court, the brand aims to involve the community in sports activities, making it a part of their daily lives, which is also in line with its Made To Play campaign.

Apart from this, the Shek Lei Estate has been chosen as its surrounded by over 10 primary and secondary schools. Its efforts hope to provide access to under privileged children who otherwise would not be able to include sports in their lifestyle as the living space is crowded with no room for a leisure area.

Shek Lei Grind Court highlights how we can leverage Nike Grind to turn waste into new opportunities for athletes to make sport a daily habit

Noel Kinder, chief sustainability officer of Nike
Source: Nike

Kinder added: “Nike Grind is a testament to the power of Nike innovation and to our journey of pioneering and exploring sustainable solutions. Shek Lei Grind Court highlights how we can leverage Nike Grind to turn waste into new opportunities for athletes to make sport a daily habit.”

To further fulfil its goal of making the court a community hub where even youth and families are welcome, it has joined forces with the InspiringHK Sports Foundation. The local non-profit works to drive social mobility and inclusion by engaging kinds and youth in sports.

In keeping with its sustainability commitments, Nike is working shift all its operations to circular ones, reduce its GHG emissions by 70% and slash its carbon footprint by 60%. For instance, it partnered with the firm responsible for the pineapple vegan leather Pinatex to unveil a new vegan sneaker collection.


Lead image courtesy of Nike.


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