Nike Air Force 1s just got a sustainable makeover. The footwear giant’s Happy Pineapple collection is made from pineapple leather and cork.
Nike teamed up with London-based startup Ananas Anam to create the kicks. The company makes Piñatex, an innovative vegan leather material, from sustainably sourced pineapple leaves. LIVEKINDLY has reached out to the company to confirm whether or not the collection is vegan.
“We are thrilled to announce our collaboration with Nike on their Happy Pineapple collection,” the company revealed on LinkedIn. “Nike merges their innovative silhouettes with juicy hues and clever details paying homage to a summertime staple— the pineapple.”
Ananas Anam’s signature Piñatex material is used in several key parts of the shoe, along with other sustainable materials, like upcycled cork.
The Happy Pineapple Collection features seven sneaker editions across five styles: the Free Run Trail Premium, Air Force 1, Air Max 90, Air Max 95, and Air Zoom Type.
The kicks feature tropical hues and a pineapple motif replaces the standard Nike logo on the top of the shoes’ tongue.
Nike Happy Pineapple Collection
The Air Force 1 is one of Nike’s best-selling sneakers.
In 2019, the low version—which Nike first released back in 1983—was the second top-selling sneaker in the U.S.
The original Air Force 1s featured leather uppers. Aside from contributing to the animal cruelty inherent in the cattle industry, the production of leather is also bad for the environment. The process of tanning leather involves the use of hundreds of toxic chemicals and heavy metals, such as cyanide and lead. As a result, a number of shoe companies, such as Gucci and Adidas, are now opting to adopt vegan leather.
Ananas Anam’s Piñatex is a more sustainable option because it makes use of pineapple leaf waste. A byproduct of the fruit industry, the pineapple waste is normally either burned or goes to the landfill.
The production of Piñatex also supports local communities. According to the company, it has created a new income stream for farming communities in the Philippines who otherwise depend on seasonal harvests.
The pineapple leather collection is Nike’s latest move in its endeavor to be kinder to the planet. In 2020, it launched its Move to Zero campaign, which shifted to more circular models in an effort to achieve zero carbon and zero waste.
“One of Nike’s mottos is that there is no finish line. I think that’s especially true in sustainability. You’re never going to reach perfection, or even zero,” Noel Kinder, Nike’s chief sustainability officer, said following a Move to Zero panel talk in 2020.
“So why start a race that you know you’ll never finish, let alone win? Because manufacturing and consumption aren’t going to stop,” Kinder continued. “So the progress you make along the way by offering consumers better alternatives is our most realistic way forward.”
Want to snag a pair? Nike’s Happy Pineapple collection launches June 17. Trainers are available in Nike’s SNKRS app.