8 December 2010 – Nike early this month released a rating tool for apparel for use by designers that encourages sustainable design and use of natural resources.

The Environmental Apparel Design Tool is based on Nike’s Considered Design Index and, according to the company, took seven years to develop.

The company said that the tool “aims to accelerate collaboration between companies, fast-track sustainable innovation and decrease the use of natural resources like oil and water.”

The company claimed its rating tool allowed it to double its use of recycled polyester over the past year, diverting 82 million plastic bottles from landfill, for  example, in manufacturing the football jerseys for the World Cup in South Africa 2010 – from 100 per cent recycled polyester.

Mindy Lubber, President of Ceres, a coalition of investors and environmental groups that works to address sustainability challenges, said in a media statement released by Nike that, “Whether for sneakers or cars, it is hugely important to integrate water, chemical, energy and waste considerations into all product design. If all apparel companies use this tool, the impacts could be breathtaking, from less-clogged landfills to expanding our sustainable material industries.”

Earlier this year, Nike launched the GreenXchange, a web-based marketplace where companies can collaborate and share intellectual property which can lead to new sustainability business models and innovation.