News & Events, Sustainability

Nike and Newlight partner to fight for climate change

AirCarbon joining an Air lineup soon?

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Sep 21, 2021

Nike has partnered with biotechnology company Newlight Technologies in order to reduce its carbon footprint. After dabbling in several forms of environmental cautiousness (such as its recycling resale program), the Swoosh has now taken its efforts one step further and is working with biotechnologists.


How will Nike and Newlight collaborate?

Nike is planning on exploring the use of AirCarbon, which is Newlight’s carbon-negative biomaterial produced by ocean microorganisms, in the designs of its new products. The creation of the material also brings forth conversations on greenhouse gases and their effects.


What is AirCarbon?

AirCarbon, is a unique form of plastic where the “manufacturing process uses captured greenhouse gases and converts them into tiny plastic pellets that can be formed into practically any shape. By sequestering emissions that would otherwise go into the atmosphere, the product is actually carbon negative,” according to Newlight.


In order to manufacture it, the biotechnology company uses ocean microorganisms that eat greenhouse gasses and air and then converts it inside of the material’s cells. That means AirCarbon is an energy storage material, in scientific words that means polyhydroxy butyrate (PHB), which is composed of 40% oxygen from the air and 60% carbon from greenhouse gases.


The material is certified carbon-negative, resulting in a reduction in CO2 in the atmosphere. The incredible thing is that AirCarbon can be melted into several forms such as fiber, sheet, and solid shapes, and all of this makes it so it opens up a variety of possibilities for different usages.


Newlight’s goal is to aid in the worldwide fight against plastic pollution and climate change by producing this plastic substitute. Currently, this material has already been used as a plastic leather (or pleather) substitute for wallets, eyewear, and bags. Nike’s goal is to explore the capabilities of AirCarbon for several of its applications in order to create more environmentally equitable products.


What Nike has to say about the partnership

The Chief Sustainability Officer at Nike, Noel Kinder, said that: “AirCarbon offers an opportunity to further reduce our impact on the planet. Materials account for 70 percent of Nike’s total carbon footprint, and we’re accelerating our efforts and exploring new opportunities in this space because, in the race against climate change, we can’t wait for solutions, we have to work together to create them.”


Sustainability still isn’t regulated in the grooming industry and natural skincare ingredients aren’t always sustainable. We love to see more conversations in all industries on sustainability and climate change.


Photo via Newlight Technologies