As you are developing your craft, style and skill as a budding designer, there are many considerations to be made about the materials you use. One consideration often overlooked at this point in development is what impact the materials you use will have on the planet. Not only is eco fashion in, but society as a whole is becoming more and more aware of the importance of environmentally friendly products. Nike have delivered a tool to aid you in measuring how green the materials you use are through their app ‘Making’.
Making uses the Nike Materials Sustainability Index to rank materials in four impact areas: chemistry, energy/greenhouse gas intensity, water/land use intensity and physical waste. Making also ranks materials in an additional 2 ways, recycled and organic, as well as giving an overall rating of materials. An explanation of each of the areas is given within the app as well as an explanation of the materials themselves.
Base Material Score – Fixed score based on publicly available studies for the four impact areas.
Chemistry – Chemicals used in creating the material that may impact consumers, factory workers and or the environment.
Energy/Greenhouse Gas – Energy use, efficiency, and greenhouse gases resulting from the creation of the material
Water/Land Use Intensity – Water use efficiency, reuse, recycling, and discharge from the creation of the material. Land use efficiency and productivity from the creation of the material.
Physical Waste – Physical waste from the creation of the material.
Recycled – Material or finished product that has served its intended use and has been diverted/recovered from waste destined for disposal and instead is used to create new material.
Organic – Farming production management systems that promotes and enhances.
The Nike Materials Sustainability Index is used by Nike in making their decisions about the materials they use in their own items. With that in mind you can realise that the same tool that is utilised by one of the worlds biggest fashion manufacturers is also available to you helping your designs fit the mould of eco fashion.
Of course this tool isn’t the be all and end all in the decisions you make in picking your materials, otherwise everything everywhere would be made from down, a material comprised of the fine, soft feathers of a young bird or the underlying feathers of certain adult birds,which the index ranks as the most intrinsically eco friendly. Furthermore Making doesn’t factor in price which as a student will be very significant, regardless Making does allow for easy comparison and it gets you thinking about the materials you use on a more long term basis.
Whether you continue to design independently or get a job designing for a manufacturer, with the trend of eco fashion this tool will prove to be invaluable in aiding social and environmental responsibility.
The app is available on iOS.
Let us know what you think of it and if you’ve utilised it in your own design process.