Meet B.I.L.L. — Nike Town London’s new sneaker repair robot. The Bot Initiated Longevity Lab is Nike’s latest advancement in utilizing more sustainable processes to create a circular future and prioritize the wellbeing of the planet. With B.I.L.L., sneakers can be reused, remade, rediscovered, and re-loved as the restoring technology gives new life to your worn down kicks.
“The thing is, maintaining old product 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. “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.”
B.I.L.L.’s technological makeup is unique as it pairs advanced robotics with old-school handcraft for a gentle water-based cleaning. Any necessary patches are made with recycled polyester and can be applied to the Air Force 1, Air Jordan 1, Space Hippie 01, and Nike Dunk.
The process is relatively simple — the shoe gets loaded into the robot and then a digital 3D model of the shoe is created. The digital scan will pinpoint all the detailed areas of the sneaker and will reveal any dirt or damage. Shoppers can then select patches to repair areas of wear-and-tear on the upper of their shoe. Once B.I.L.L. has finished restoring the necessary areas, Nike Town athletes add new liners and laces made from recycled materials. From the mechanics of B.I.L.L. to the hands of Nike Town athletes, the process takes about 45 minutes to complete a pair Air Force 1s.
See B.I.L.L. in action at Nike Town London throughout September. During the time B.I.L.L. is available in Nike Town London, the service will be free of charge for shoppers. As this experience is still in its introductory stage, it will help to provide Nike with insights on future sustainable services, in addition to the already existing Nike Refurbished and Nike Recycling & Donation.