Fashion, Sustainability, Tech

Meet B.I.L.L: Nike’s robot shoe repair

An integral part of Nike’s sustainability mission.

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Sep 17, 2022

Nike just released their Bot Initiated Longevity Lab (B.I.L.L.), a robot-augmented system that is engineered to repair and clean shoes that come with certain customizations. According to the announcement: “B.I.L.L. is Nike’s latest experiment to help chart the way toward a more circular future. Extending the life of product – the primary goal of B.I.L.L. – is one way to significantly reduce its impact on the planet, helping Nike chart its way toward a more circular future.”

 

Teams from across Nike are investigating innovative approaches and conducting experiments in unexpected areas to develop tools and services that aid in extending the lifespan of Nike products in an effort to be more sustainable. B.I.L.L. joins other environmentally friendly solutions from Nike, such as Nike Refurbished, Nike Recycling & Donation, and instructional videos that assist customers in mending and restoring their favorite Nike shoes.

 

The point behind Nike’s circular vision is to create items and products that can be repurposed, reinvented, and rediscovered. One important component of that circular kind of thinking is extending the life of a product. We all know that when a product is given a second life, the impact on the environment is less considerable. This is why a lot of people choose to donate clothes and shop at thrift stores. This realization serves as the inspiration for Nike’s newest retail innovation, Bot Initiated Longevity Lab (B.I.L.L. ), which made its premiere at Nike Town London.

 

As of now, B.I.L.L. is capable of extending the life of Air Force 1, Air Jordan 1, Space Hippie 01, and Nike Dunks using cutting-edge robotics, traditional handcraft, water-based cleaning products, and recycled polyester patches.

 

Noah Murphy-Reinhertz, the Sustainability Lead at Nike NXT added: “Maintaining old product is deeply personal. People will go to great lengths to care for their favorite shoes. Repairing a product is a way to extend our memory with a product. We see B.I.L.L. as a tool for being able to do that. […] Robots can do things that are tough to do by hand, but when we used robotics as part of a recycling technology, we still want the service to be personal.”

 

This is a new venture in the world of footwear and we’re not surprised that Nike was the first to release an innovation that is expected to be revolutionary for footwear enthusiasts and people who can’t ever part ways with their favorite shoes.

 

Speaking of Nike, they partnered with Newlight to fight climate change and recently released a highly coveted Off-White Air Force 1 “Brooklyn” collab.

 

Photo via Nike