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Nike Flyleather Is Nike Bringing A Bomb To A GunFight

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This new high-end super material has the power to help athletes perform their best while greatly reducing Nike’s water use and carbon footprint.

Source: What is Nike Flyleather?

The recent growth by adidas has been a combination of great products and impressive marketing combined with some very smart collaborative efforts. adidas has also benefited from the desire for everyone to reflect on the 80s and 90s and recapture retro. The majority of the market was saying that adidas was “taking” shares from Nike.

I kept making the statement that Nike was giving away a share of the market as they recreated their business.

Insider Ties Ep. 62: What’s Behind The Layoffs At Nike?

In other words Nike was behind on recreating their marketing direction and releasing innovative products on the market that would allow them to recapture the ears and eyes of the market. They had to fall behind to gain a larger profit margin. Get it? If you click through and watch the video in the article above I show you directly from the Q4 reports over the last three years Nike’s growth in DTC and e-commerce. It’s hard to grow if you continue to produce limited quantities and give them to retail outlets vs selling the product yourself.

What does this have to do with Flyleather? What exactly is Flyleather? “Nike Flyleather is a new super material — made with at least 50 percent recycled natural leather fiber and water power — that has the potential to be as game-changing as Nike Flyknit.”

Last year I wrote that the knit sneaker trend was being pushed to its limits and would begin to slow down and no longer be considered innovative. Every company has saturated the market with knit products and that’s given everyone a lightweight option… the problem is the knit shoes were overpriced and they lose their shape quickly. While the material can be reinforced and made stronger, when a company decides to upgrade a shoe they always return to leather and suede. The problem with using leather and suede is that the carbon footprint created with the material, and not to mention the fact that millennials are more conscientious of what they are wearing and are demanding more of the companies they support, isn’t exactly catering to the shift in a more aware eco-conscious consumer.

What’s funny is that last year I made a statement that Under Armour could actually benefit from creating a performance based leather (premium) basketball shoe for Steph Curry and what Nike has done with Flyleather is beat every company to the punch in a very logical and innovative manner with Made in the USA branding behind it.

Nike won’t be overproducing shoes anymore to shut off reselling. They don’t need to overproduce to rtv and stock Nike stores anymore. Nike has successfully implemented their DTC strategy, shed the weight via layoffs and now they can focus on the marketing and promotion that has been the foundation of their success. Under Armour, adidas and the other brands had a three year window to maximize on Nike’s slumber and this fall they will have to a lot more to be present in the minds of consumers (this is another story). Flyleather may not appear to be much, but when you consider that most footwear that is selling right now isn’t performance (where Nike lives), and that it’s retro, Nike has an entire catalog that can be repurposed utilizing Flyleather with a combination of Lunarfoam and classic footwear can be reintroduced as Made in Oregon featuring recycled products.

For Nike, leather is featured across many iconic footwear styles — but it has the second-highest environmental impact on Nike’s carbon emissions and water usage. Flyleather can change that. These are the top three reasons why it’s Nike’s most sustainable leather material ever:   

  • Creating it uses 90-percent less water and has an 80-percent lower carbon footprint than traditional leather manufacturing

  • A pair of Nike Flyleather shoes has approximately half the carbon footprint compared to shoes made with traditional leather

  • Because Nike Flyleather is produced on a roll, it improves cutting efficiency and creates less waste than traditional cut-and-sew methods for full-grain leather

Boom goes the canon. Flyleather is more important than it appears on the surface and other brands need to understand that Nike is awake and plan accordingly.

To complement the release of the Nike Flyleather Tennis Classic, Nike has also created limited editions of the next generation Nike Flyleather footwear – versions of the Air Force 1Air Max 90CortezJordan 1, and Tennis Classic — that are made in Oregon and will be seen in New York during Climate Week NYC