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Nike Forward is Rewriting the History of Fabric in the Name of Sustainability

Nike has unveiled its next big step to a zero-carbon future with the release of its ‘Nike Forward’ apparel collection. The collection is centred around the classic Nike grey hoodie and utilises state-of-the-art material throughout the manufacturing process to create a garment that’s stylish, functional, and sustainable.

Pricing starts at $150 AUD for the Women’s Crew-Neck Top and $170 AUD for the Men’s Pullover Hoodie, which is only a fraction more than the fan favourite Tech Fleece hoodie.

The sustainable hoodie will be the first product utilising Nike Forward material and is made with at least 70% recycled content representing Nike’s most significant apparel innovation since Dri-Fit. The technology joins the likes of Air, Flyknit, Flyleather, ‘Space Hippie’, and ‘Next Nature’.

Related: Here’s where you can make your own custom Nike Dunk lows on Nike By You.

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Image: Nike

What is Nike Forward?

Nike Forward is an innovative material that’s crafted with a reductive needle-punching process. Think of it as multiple ultra-thin layers of material that are literally punched together in the manufacturing process. Layers can be added or subtracted to fine-tune the material for different performance benefits, for example, the first hoodie and crewneck collection will focus on warmth and the brand has shared some data to back up the effectiveness of the product.

Is Nike Forward Sustainable?

There are so many factors to consider when comprehending a product’s true ‘environmental impact’ but the beauty of Nike Forward lies in its thermal efficiency. A product that’s higher in thermal efficiency means less material is required to provide the same function.

The Heat Resistance (RCT) of Nike Forward has a higher heat resistance per kilogram of material as compared to benchmark Fleece materials. Ultimately, this should result in an overall ‘per kg of material reduction’ and thus a ‘per 3m2 in garment (the amount of material required to make a hoodie) reduction in kg of CO2e. And in looking at Nike’s full critically reviewed carbon footprint assessment, it does.

Material Kg CO2e/kg NIKE Forward Savings Per KG Kg CO2e/3m2 in Garment NIKE Forward Savings Per 3m2 Garment Kg CO2e/m2 NIKE Forward Savings Per m2
NIKE Forward 4.71 X 2.54 X 0.85 X
Benchmark Fleece Avg 12.16 61% 9.97 75% 3.32 75%

Nike data concludes that the Forward material results in a CO2e reduction of 75% compared to the volume of an average fleece garment. The main drivers for the reduction seen in the Nike Forward material are the use of recycled materials (recycled polyester), the lower process energy use, and the lower material basis weight (gsm) for Nike Forward (lightweight made possible by more heat resistance).

Is Nike Forward Stylish?

At the end of the day, the most sustainable hoodie also has to look great and wear well. We particularly love the raw-edge pockets, exposed seams and other intentional design choices around the cuffs on the Therma-FIT ADV hoodie. Nike emphasises that the material will only get better with age as it’s designed to break in as you wear it, however, there are some specific care instructions we’ve outlined below.

How to Care for Your Nike Forward Product

  1. Wash your Nike Forward garments in cold water. This is key to preserving the material’s structure and preventing shrinkage.
  2. Lay your Nike Forward garments flat to dry. Skipping the dryer and laying your pieces flat is important to help retain shape and structure.
  3. Take care of any pilling on the material using a fabric comb or brush. It’s a natural part of the material’s life cycle.

The pricing for the Nike Forward debut collection starts at $150 AUD for the Women’s Crew-Neck Top and $170 AUD for the Men’s Pullover Hoodie. Nike has emphasised that this is just the first in a long line of upcoming Nike Forward products so be on the lookout for more exciting sustainable Forward products in the future. More information on the Nike Forward collection can be found via the links below.

Check it out Buy it here

Nike forward therma fit adv feature

Image: Nike

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Image: Nike

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Image: Nike

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JOURNALIST

Ben McKimm

Ben lives in Sydney, Australia. He has a Bachelor's Degree (Media, Technology and the Law) from Macquarie University (2020). Outside of his studies, he has spent the last decade heavily involved in the automotive, technology and fashion world. Turning his passion and expertise into a Journalist position at Man of Many where he continues to write about everything that interests the modern man. Conducting car reviews on both the road and track, hands-on reviews of cutting-edge technology and employing a vast knowledge in the space of fashion and sneakers to his work. One day he hopes to own his own brand.