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Launch 2020 Summit discusses sustainability of materials
Apr '13
LAUNCH members NIKE, Inc., NASA, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Department of State convened 150 materials specialists, designers, academics, manufacturers, entrepreneurs and NGOs this week to catalyze action around one of the world’s biggest challenges – the sustainability of materials and how they are made.

NIKE, Inc. President & CEO Mark Parker kicked off the two-day LAUNCH 2020 Summit stressing the importance of innovation and collaboration.

“Innovation is most powerful when it’s activated by collaboration between unlikely partners, coupled with investment dollars, marketing know-how and determination,“ Parker said. “Now is the time for big, bold solutions. Incremental change won’t get us where we need to go fast enough or at a scale that makes a difference.”

Through a unique, multi-year incubation process, LAUNCH will uncover innovations in sustainable materials that can have a major impact on people and the planet.

The summit also unveiled the LAUNCH 2013 Challenge Statement, an open call for innovation to transform the system of producing fabrics. LAUNCH 2013 is open to individuals and teams. In August the 10 strongest innovations will be selected and participants will take part in an immersive program that provides access to capital, creativity and capacity.

Materials have a significant impact on the planet. It is estimated that around 150 billion garments were produced around the world in 2010, and by 2015, the global apparel industry is expected to produce more than 400 billion square meters of fabric every year – enough to cover the state of California.

Nike VP of Sustainable Business and Innovation, Hannah Jones said: “About 60 percent of the environmental footprint of a pair of Nike shoes is embedded in the materials used to make them. When you multiply that across our business, and across the industry, it’s clear that innovation in sustainable materials is a huge opportunity, not just for Nike, but for the world.”

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