Inspired – Environmentally Friendly Shoe Packaging

Image of shoes illustration sustainable packaging

Globally, there are 20,000,000,000 pairs of shoes produced each year. The number of shoes sold in the US in 2013 was 2,373,750,000. That’s 7.5 pairs of shoes per person. Each person in the US also bought about 62 other garments each year!

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Clothing brands are starting to realise the importance of sustainable design and packaging. The need is also met with an increasing public demand.

Here are some inspiring examples.

Nike Air

To emphasise the features of the Nike Air Max, the shoes have been packaged in an air-cushion. The air-cushion is not only a highly relevant design feature, it also works well to protect the shoes and makes them visible whilst still ‘in-the-box’.

Once purchased, the bag is simply popped and reduced to a very small amount of plastic.

It would be great to see these bags made from the biodegradable alternative to plastic that we saw used with the beer cups.

This is an image of Nike Air Max air-cushion


Another shoe company that decided to jump on the sustainable packaging bandwagon is Adidas. For a line of their football shoes, designer Tia Hughes developed a cardboard packaging made of recycled material. The coolest part? The cardboard is infused with grass seeds, so you can grow your very own field.

Okay, so not everyone is actually going to grow a field from this, but it’s a great way to get people thinking about sustainability. And the design itself uses far less cardboard than the standard shoe box.

Nike Air … again

Partnering with Taiwanese architect and engineer Arthur Huang, Nike has developed responsible packaging from recycled drink bottles. The shoes inside are also made from recycled materials, turning pollution into product.

The box is fitted with shoulder straps, so that it can be reused as a backpack. The most sustainable products are designed to be useful even when their original purpose has been fulfilled.


This is an image of a Nike Air shoe box

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