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Sustainability

via Nike

Nike's Forward hoodie

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As one of the world’s largest sports brands, Nike is in a unique position to play a significant role in creating a more sustainable world. Nike has taken on this monumental responsibility by relentlessly pursuing its waste-reducing Move to Zero policy. The company's ultimate goal is zero carbon and zero waste, all in an effort to help protect the future of sport.

“Athletes around the world are telling us that climate change is impacting them and their ability to perform at their best,” Seana Hannah, VP Sustainable Innovation, NIKE, Inc., said in a statement shared with Upworthy. “As part of our commitment to serve the athletes by offering more sustainable options and meeting our bold, science-based impact targets, we’re introducing a material innovation that can be adapted to different lifestyle and performance purposes.”

Over five years of research went into the development of Nike Forward and the company believes the positive environmental effects will be well worth the wait.


The all-new Nike Forward platform is the brand’s latest advancement in over 30 years of sustainability-minded innovations, and the most significant Nike apparel innovation since Dri-Fit.The proprietary technology is based on engineering innovations that deliver big results.

In short, Nike hacked existing needle punching machinery to connect multiple thin layers by entangling them together to make a new, uncompromising performance-ready textile.

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The total of Forward’s innovations reduces carbon output by an average of 75% compared to traditional Nike fleece. This is achieved using 70% recycled content by weight, solution-dyed fibers rather than traditional dye methods and the lower material basis weight of Forward. In plain language, the process is much simpler than traditional knit or woven processes, drastically reducing the number of resources needed to create the material.

But Forward isn’t just about reducing environmental impact during the manufacturing process. For the launch pieces, the brand also considered the end of its garments’ lives by removing metal zippers and aglets so they’re easier to recycle.

“Sustainability sits at the foundation of Nike’s business, and we believe circularity is the future of sustainability, “John Donahoe, CEO, NIKE, Inc. said in a statement.

The sustainability of the Forward platform has the potential to significantly reduce the company’s carbon footprint for years to come. In keeping with Nike’s goals, Forward looks to “make the world better for athletes” while also being a superior product that “makes athletes better.”

Forward’s multiple thin-layer construction makes for warm and lightweight garments, and the flexibility of the platform will allow Nike to create a custom experience for athletes where materials can be adjusted to meet their unique needs.

via Nike

The first Forward garment that athletes across the world will be able to experience is an iconic grey hoodie, as Nike calls it, “the uniform of sport and style around the globe.” The Forward hoodie is manufactured using zero water in the dyeing and finishing processes. The company believes it’s a rare product where sustainability doesn’t come with sacrifices in comfort, style, or performance.

The hoodie is just the start of the Forward movement for Nike. "Today, it's a hoodie. Tomorrow, it could be anything,” Aaron Heiser, VP of global apparel product merchandising, said in a video produced by Nike.

The hoodie will help introduce the world to Nike’s latest revolution that it hopes will make an impact that will be felt for years to come.

For Nike, it’s just the latest advancement in the brand’s culture of innovation that underscores its commitment to taking action in creating a better world.

“We believe this platform has the potential to reset the way we think about material and apparel,” Aaron Heiser, Nike’s VP of global apparel product merchandising, said in a statement. “This is the biggest Nike apparel innovation since Dri-Fit 30 years ago and has huge potential to transform the industry in the way that Air and Flyknit did for Nike footwear.”

Nike Forward will launch in North America on September 29, 2022. Shop the collection at nike.com/nikeforward.

A nurse adopts her 'favorite' patient's dog.

Registered nurse Jennifer Smith, 41, struck up a close friendship with John Burley, 60, at the adult daycare program at the Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Rome, New York, before he was moved from the facility.

While he was under Smith’s care for pneumonia and a lung condition, he would often show her photos of his dog, Boomer, which he adopted 12 years ago.

Burley was later transferred to the rehabilitation wing of the hospital, leaving no one to care for Boomer, so he had the dog taken to the pound. Burley had moved to New York from Arkansas, where his family lived, and he had no one to look after Boomer.

Smith heard the news from Burley in an early morning call.

"I came into work the Monday after Thanksgiving to the phone ringing at 7 a.m.," Smith told CNN. "John was calling from his hospital room saying, 'Boomer is in the pound! Boomer is in the pound!' Boomer is John's world."


The problem was that Smith had no idea where Boomer had been taken. She looked up local facilities, made some calls and learned he was taken to the Rome Humane Society.

"I was a little panicked because I didn't know how long he had been in the shelter or if he had already been adopted to another family. It's Christmas time and people get animals," she said.

Smith wasted no time in going to retrieve the dog.

The nurse located Boomer in a large cage at the back of the shelter and asked if she could adopt him right there on the spot. He wasn’t ready to leave the shelter just yet but she got the guarantee she’d be able to adopt him and then called Burley, one of her favorite patients, to tell him the good news.

"She went right to the Rome Humane Society that day and paid the adoption fee, took him to the vet, and went on a shopping spree for food, crate, toys, and doggy clothes. He is very spoiled," Kimberleigh Hare from The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Rome told Newsweek.

Soon after she got Boomer home she began bringing the dog to the facility to see Burley, who now gets to hang out with his beloved pooch a few times a day. "It helps John with the healing process and gives him peace of mind," Smith said.

The other residents at the hospital love to spend time with Boomer, too.

“I can see why John loves his dog so much," Smith told Spectrum News. "Boomer is fantastic. I walk through the halls with him on the wings and all the residents that are in the hallway, they instantly smile. I let each of them pet Boomer.”

Although no one is certain when Burley will make it home, Smith has promised to take care of the dog as long as need be. “I made a promise to John to take care of Boomer. I will take care of him as long as he needs me to. John knows that. Right now the focus is on John getting better and taking it one day at a time,” she told CNN.

Even though Burley has difficulty speaking, he only needs three words to describe how he feels about Smith: "I love Jennifer."

Courtesy of Alice Saisha and Farwisa Farhan

Tory Burch and Upworthy have partnered to honor incredible women making an impact this year.

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"There are two powers in the world; one is the sword and the other is the pen. There is a third power stronger than both, that of women.” — Malala Yousafzai

When women are encouraged to nurture their gifts and empowered to embrace their ambitions, they can truly change the world for the better. Upworthy and Tory Burch partnered this year to help women do just that by honoring amazing women for their contributions and giving them $5,000 on behalf of the Tory Burch Foundation to donate to a non-profit of their choice.

Meet the 14 women who have been honored in 2021 for their diverse commitments to making the world a more hopeful, healthy, and just place.

Victoria Sanusi: Destigmatizing Mental Health

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Victoria Sanusi started the Black Gals Livin' podcast with her friend Jas in 2018. Victoria and Jas chat about various things, but listeners especially appreciate how the podcast destigmatizes mental health. “I think perhaps for our listeners, hearing someone who looks like them experiencing low moods, depression, and anxiety makes them feel less alone,” she says. Sanusi donated her $5,000 to the Black LGBTQIA+ Fund, which helps fund therapy sessions for people in the Black LGBTQIA+ community.

Though 2021 has been a tough year for many, these impressive women and their organizations are giving back to their community in incredible ways. Empowered women inspire others, and if we want to see greater progress in our world, we need to empower more women.

Thankfully, that’s something we can all help with. Tory Burch and Upworthy are looking for more extraordinary women to honor, so if you know an empowered woman, nominate her here. Learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program here.

Let’s all celebrate the amazing women in our lives and give them the gift of recognition they deserve.

A dumpster-diving TikTok user is taking stores to task for what they throw away.

Do you ever think about how we live in a world that is perfectly capable of producing enough food and basic necessities for every human on the planet, and yet there are still millions upon millions who don't have enough?

We do. It's weird and inhumane, but it's reality. There are multiple, somewhat complex reasons for this, of course, which don't justify but do explain it. However, the economics and logistics of making sure everyone has what they need don't need to be understood to recognize extreme, blatant, inexcusable waste.

A TikTok user who goes by @dumpsterdivingfreegan shares videos of what she finds in the dumpsters of grocery stores, and it's completely mind-blowing. Even if you already know that stores waste a lot of food, wait until you see what she finds. It's not just food that's at or near its expiration date, though there is a lot of that. She finds toiletries and household items—sometimes by the case, all brand new—just thrown into the dumpster.

Watch:


@dumpsterdivingfreegan

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Many of us would question pulling perishables from a dumpster, but if it's cold enough outside and you knew they'd been tossed recently, why not? In a logical world, these foods would only be thrown out because there was something wrong with them, but that does not seem to be the case.

In another video, she said she hasn't bought groceries in two years because she's able to get so much from dumpster diving.

@dumpsterdivingfreegan

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She also says she donates far more than she keeps, and she does leave things behind for other people or homeless people to find. There is always plenty to go around.

She wipes down what she can with disinfectant and hasn't run into any issues with food being bad or anyone in her household getting sick from eating it.

When you see what and how much stores are tossing—perfectly good food that's not even at its best by date yet—it's understandable that she hasn't had to buy groceries. According to Business Insider, grocery stores are responsible for about 10% of the food waste in the United States.

@dumpsterdivingfreegan

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But it's not just food.

Stores throw away all kinds of merchandise. According to this dumpster diver, many stores have a policy that they throw away cases of product if one item in the case gets broken. She has found cases of wine where just one bottle was broken. And check out this case of perfectly good plants that some people paid good money for:

@dumpsterdivingfreegan

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And if perfectly good plants being tossed isn't enough to move you, how about toilet paper? That's right. The precious commodity that people were waiting in ridiculous lines for and rationing due to hoarding-induced-scarcity. But not just any toilet paper! The environmentally friendly bamboo kind that costs far more than toilet paper should, tossed into a dumpster for reasons none of us can guess.

@dumpsterdivingfreegan

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The irony of a store that sells all kinds of eco-friendly items throwing so much into landfills unnecessarily is enough to make your brain explode.

Why don't they donate this stuff instead of throwing it away? Yes. That is the million-dollar question.

Some stores do donate some or most of their overstocked or close-to-due-date items. But as we see here, the habit is not universal, it might vary from location to location, and some stores actually have policies against it for whatever reason. It seems reasonable in the modern world to expect perfectly good items to not end up in landfills when people are in need of them and when our Earth is already dealing with too much trash. It makes no sense.

You probably have dozens of questions for @dumpsterdivingfreegan and she answers tons of them in her videos and comments. I highly recommend perusing her TikTok channel, where she's really an open book about money and dumpster diving. While it's seriously shocking what she finds, it's equally interesting how she lives her life and organizes her finances.

And it will definitely motivate you to find out if stores in your area throw out merchandise and to encourage them to find a more humane and environmentally conscious way to process excess, because the waste in these videos is simply obscene.