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Nike Flyleather Upends Traditional Sneaker Manufacturing

The new performance material is made using less leather fiber and water power
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Image via: Nike

Image via: Nike

Billed as a new "super material," Nike Flyleather is poised to be as game-changing as Nike Flyknit. It's the brand's lowest carbon-footprint leather material ever, made with at least 50 percent recycled natural leather fiber while using 90 percent less water power. Here's how it's made: 30 percent of a cow's hide is typically discarded during the traditional leather manufacturing process, and Nike gathers the discarded leather scraps and turns them into fibers, which are then combined with synthetic fibers and a fabric infrastructure to create one fused material. A finishing process, including steps like pigmentation, allows the material to be put on a roll and cut. The end result feels like premium leather, but it has a more consistent grade and weighs 40-percent lighter -- and is five times stronger -- than traditional leather.

The first silhouette to feature Nike Flyleather is an all-white colorway of the Tennis Classic, available September 18th on and at the Nike SoHo store, NikeLab 21 Mercer and Dover Street Market New York. Also on tap are Nike Flyleather versions of the Air Force 1, Air Max 90, Cortez, Jordan 1 and Tennis Classic, all made in Oregon and debuting in New York during Climate Week NYC. Go here to find out how you can win a pair.