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New Nike App Scores Design Materials on Sustainability

A new app from US sportswear giant Nike, “Making,” promises to make sustainable materials more accessible to designers. The app provides information about a material’s environmental impact — available at the swipe of a touchscreen.

The app, which uses Nike’s Materials Sustainability Index — itself a product built from more than seven years of collected data — scores each material based on water usage, chemicals, expended energy and resultant waste. The app can also tell designers whether a material has been recycled, and what percentage of the material is composed of organic matter.

The project was developed in part at the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, an adjunct of the London College of Fashion, where design students are already using the Making app to complete projects. By 2015, according to Nike, the apparel industry will be producing and dyeing over 400 billion square feet of fabric per year.

Hannah Jones, Nike’s VP of Sustainable Business and Innovation, told Wired that the app aims to inform designers at the “moment of truth” — which, she points out, is actually the moment of design. “The app is really tailored to help [designers] make real-time predictive choices around the materials,” Jones said.