Nike Aim to Cut Packaging Waste in Half With New 'One Box' Design
Although most sneakerheads like keeping their shoeboxes for preservation, aesthetics, storage, maintaining value or something else entirely, the very notion of getting a shoebox shipped to you in a box of its own is somewhat of a packaging oxymoron. Plus, it's wasteful: If Joe Schmo makes an order from Nike, he'll probably toss both the shipping box and the shoebox that comes in it.
Enter the Swoosh's new One Box design, a shipping solution that the Swoosh proudly says can cut its packaging weight by 50 per cent by serving as both a shoebox and a shipping box. 'Packaging is sometimes an afterthought,' said Rich Hastings, a designer who's created Nike's custom shoeboxes for over two decades. 'But what people may not realize is that it can have a huge impact on the environment.'
Simply removing one of the boxes from the equation and making a hybrid shipping box/shoebox may seem simple at first. After all, Nike did it with the popular Space Hippie line. However, there are several issues to be unpacked, from sturdiness to scale and looks.
To make sure the One Box would protect its precious cargo and fulfil the needs of the brand's customers, Hastings and his team performed a battery of crush tests on the boxes, and also picked a special white ink to print on the box with, ensuring it wouldn't rub off on the shoes inside. There's a second strip of tape on the inside of the box to allow for easy returns, and the look is kept minimal on purpose. 'We didn't want the box advertising that new shoes were sitting on your stoop,' said Nike packaging designer Chris Conklin. That's sure to be welcome news to anyone who was irked by Nike's black 'Just Do It' shipping tape – a packaging material that might as well have read 'Steal Me!'
Look for One Box to begin gradually rolling out to more and more Nike products in the coming years as part of the brand's Move to Zero initiative. 'Even though [the One Box initiative is] large, we’re still in pilot mode,” says Erica Swanson, a senior director of Nike's sustainable product operations. 'There’s opportunity for One Box to evolve over time – how it looks, what it’s used for and how many boxes we can save.' If you want to find out more, head to Nike's One Box page and see for yourself!