Nike sub-label ISPA (Improvise, Scavenge, Protect, Adapt) has collaborated with bioscience research and product company Living Ink Technologies on sustainable footwear packaging.

The packaging uses Living Ink’s flexographic algae ink, a water-based and algae-pigmented alternative to traditional inks derived from petroleum-based carbon black pigment.

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The collaboration comes on the heels of discussions on increased chemical regulations such as The Packaging Reduction and Recycling Infrastructure Act currently being considered by the New York State legislature. If passed, this bill would ban the use of carbon black and other chemicals deemed harmful in packaging inks by 2026.

Living Ink is scaling up production to meet companies’ growing need for sustainable pigment in global supply chains.

Each ISPA shoebox also features a QR code that directs consumers to a TEDx Talk titled “Is algae the ink of the future?” by Living Ink CEO Scott Fulbright, which highlights the genesis of the company.

Fulbright commented on the collaboration with NIKE ISPA: “We are demonstrating how leading brands can integrate and visibly champion next-generation materials, offering consumers environmentally conscious options.”

Nike and Living Ink have previously worked together on screen-printed shirts and footwear collections using algae ink.

Nike’s sustainability initiative “Move to zero” incorporates packaging concepts that cut waste and increase recycling.