Nike continues to forge ahead on the sustainability front, striving to accomplish its move to zero initiative. The latest step in the right direction for a future based around circularity is the brands focus on repairing and refurbishing used Nike sneakers in order to reduce waste. We’ve put together a guide that breaks down everything you need to know about the Nike Refurbished program, check it out below.
What is Nike Refurbished?
Headlining the brands move to zero, the refurbished program seeks to extend the life of eligible products by taking like-new, gently worn, and slightly imperfect shoes and giving them a second life. The brand refurbishes them by hand and offers them back to consumers at a reduced price through outlets stores, Nike Unite, and Nike community stores.
The program is currently available in fifteen stores in North America, however, the brand plans to make the program global. Hypebeasts will certainly be on the lookout for some steals and deals.
How does Nike Refurbished Work?
The process for restorations is very simple;
- Customer returns shoe to Nike
- Nike Experts inspect and grade the footwear
- Each eligible shoe is carefully cleaned and sanitised.
- Refurbished shoes return to stores at a reduced price.
Should Nike reviewers find sneakers unfit to return to the shelves, they become part of Nike Grind. The process where a shoe gets reduced to bits and recycled for use in other material bases processes. Including the manufacturing of artificial grass, exercise mats or back into recycled shoes.
Nike Refurbished Condition
Don’t be alarmed, all Nike refurbished condition sneakers are cleaned and sanitised before going back on the shelf. The brand has a three-tier grading system in place to determine the condition of the shoe prior to sale. They are as follows;
- Like new: Many sneakerheads have had to deal with a reseller or Facebook scammer that claims their sneakers are in ‘DS’ or deadstock condition. Where in actual fact, the sneaker has been worn for a video or photo shoot for Instagram. Nike’s top grading system isn’t far off, essentially claiming they’re in VNDS or VVVVVNDS condition. Very near deadstock indeed.
- Gently worn: These sneakers are still in great condition, somewhere in the range of a 7-8/10 on the traditional sneaker grading scale. This means that the shoe has visible signs of light wear with slight cosmetic flaws.
- Cosmetically flawed: Ranging from stains to marks, discolourations, and fading, this category is for otherwise new sneakers that might have minor factory flaws.
What is Nike Move to Zero?
Nike ‘Move to Zero’ is the brand’s journey to creating zero carbon emissions and zero waste in order to protect the future of sports. The brand encourages its fans to help it make the move to zero by purchasing Nike products that are produced sustainably. By 2025, Nike hopes to increase the amount of product produced through waste that is refurbished, donated or recycled tenfold;
“When I think about the global climate crisis and the role of a company like Nike, I think about our mission and values… I think about who we are, who we serve, and the future we want to see… Every company has a footprint. Our goal is, and always will be, that Nike’s footprint helps to shape a better world,” said Chief Sustainability Officer Noel Kinder.
What is DS or Deadstock Condition?
When referring to a DS or Deadstock pair of sneakers you're talking about shoes that are unworn. Sometimes this can also refer to excess sneakers available at a discounted price, like Nike Refurbished.
What is VNDS?
VNDS refers to sneakers that are 'Very Near Deadstock'. Usually, shoes that are worn once on clean ground, typically for photoshoots.