Nike's latest retail innovation towards a circular future is B.I.L.L., a robot designed to extend footwear's lifespan. B.I.L.L, which stands for Bot Initiated Longevity Lab, is now available for shoppers to clean and repair their favorite Air Force 1s, Air Jordan 1s, Space Hippie 01s, and Nike Dunks at the Nike Town London Store, free of charge.
Instead of encouraging the acquisition of new products, the robot-powered system strives to make old kicks reused, remade, rediscovered and loved again. B.I.L.L represents the third addition to the Swoosh's sustainable portfolio, following Nike Refurbished and Nike Recycling and Donation.
The process is easy; shoppers load their sneakers into the robot and a 3D digital scan is created that pinpoints the detailed areas of the upper, sides and treading that need repairing. After this, consumers select the patches they want to be refreshed. The cleaning process, which takes 45 minutes, finishes off with Nike store athletes adding new liners and laces made from recycled materials.
"The thing is, maintaining old products is deeply personal. People will go to great lengths to care for their favorite shoes. Repairing a product is a way to extend our memory with a product. We see B.I.L.L. as a tool for being able to do that," says Noah Murphy-Reinhertz, Sustainability Lead, Nike NXT, in an exclusive press release. "Robots can do things that are tough to do by hand, but when we used robotics as part of a recycling technology, we still want the service to be personal."
Starting as a pilot throughout September, Nike hopes to gain valuable insights that guide the company's endeavours to create a more personal bond between people and the products they love without damaging the environment. Stay tuned for more news following Nike's exciting sustainable initiatives to come.