Nike partners with Living Ink to develop footwear packaging

Nike sub-brand ISPA (Improvise, Scavenge, Protect, Adapt) has partnered with bioscience research and product company Living Ink Technologies to develop sustainable footwear packaging.

The packaging features Living Ink’s flexographic algae ink, a water-based and algae pigment alternative to traditional inks derived from petroleum-based carbon black pigments.

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This collaboration follows discussions currently underway in the New York State Legislature to consider increased chemical regulations, such as the Packaging Reduction and Recycling Infrastructure Act. If passed, the bill would ban the use of carbon black and other chemicals deemed harmful in packaging inks by 2026.

Living Ink is scaling up production to meet the company’s growing demand for sustainable pigments across its global supply chain.

Each ISPA shoe box also comes with a QR code that directs consumers to watch a TEDx talk titled “Is Algae the Ink of the Future?” Living Ink CEO Scott Fulbright’s speech focused on the company’s origins.

Commenting on the partnership with NIKE ISPA, Fulbright said: “We are demonstrating how leading brands can integrate and visibly support next-generation materials to provide consumers with environmentally friendly choices.”

Nike and Living Ink have previously collaborated on a line of shirts and footwear screen-printed using algae ink.

Nike’s sustainability initiative, “Going to Zero,” combines packaging concepts that reduce waste and increase recycling.

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