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Sleeping bag for the homeless and refugees

Our goal is to make the best use of Nike Grind materials to make sleeping bags for the homeless and refugees.

Photo of Kaiwei Cheng
23 18

Written by

Our product - sleeping bag - uses several recycling materials such as rubber, leather, textile, and foam. As we all know, most of the materials are quite soft, which supports the feature of the sleeping bag and no big change in the materials should be done. As the picture shows, this sleeping bag has three layers: 

1. Mixed textile. This is the layer that would touch human’s body, so it should be comfortable enough. 

2. Footwear fiber. This is the thickest part of the layer, which is made up of recycled fiber. It supports the weight of the human being and makes them feel soft when they sleep. 

3. Foam. Foam is set to help to refresh the air in the bag, it keeps people from sweating during the sleep and also provide a comfortable “environment”.

The main purpose of sleep bags is to provide people warmness and comfort when they are in a limited environment. As the number of homeless and refugees are constantly increasing, we believe that by using Nike Grind materials, a well-designed sleeping bag can fulfill their basic needs. Thus, in these situations, warmness, comfort, convenience, and safety are the highest criteria. The sleeping bag we designed is quite tight, it could wrap a person up to provide maximum protection and warmth, or can be used as a mattress and blanket. What’s more, thanks to the high-quality Nike Grind materials, the sleeping bag will be light enough for being carries around. 

Company / Organization Name (if applicable)

NYU - Team Greenhouse

Which Nike Grind materials will your idea utilize?

  • Rubber Outsoles
  • Rubber Flashings
  • Rubber Granulate
  • EVA Foam Injection Scraps
  • EVA Foam Flashings
  • EVA Foam Sheets & Blocks
  • EVA Foam Components
  • Laminated EVA Foam
  • Laminated PU Foam
  • Mixed Apparel Textile
  • Mixed Footwear Textile
  • Footwear Fiber "Fluff"
  • Full Grain Leather Scraps
  • Split Leather Scraps Coated
  • Synthetic Leather

How specifically will these materials be incorporated into your solution?

The materials we will use are mostly textile and foam. The Textile - Mixed Apparel and Mixed Footwear – will be used as the shell fabrics of our product as it contains cotton, nylon, and polyester. Footwear fiber “fluff” will be used for filling the sleeping bag. Thanks to the texture, this element is perfectly light and soft and it fits the needs of our product. For the back part of the sleeping bag, EVA Foam will be used as an internal matter. Thanks to its softness and flexibility, this layer will be adjusting to the body shape, providing a comfortable support. Furthermore, EVA foam has strong breathability and it avoids the formation of condensation in the sleeping bag layers.

Please include a visual (can be either 2D or 3D) representation/prototype of your concept. (required)

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Research & Early Testing

Describe your target market. Who will benefit from your product?

Our main target will be people in need, namely homeless people and refugees. In January 2018 in NYC there were 63,101 homeless people, including 15,553 homeless families with 23,309 homeless children, sleeping each night in the New York City municipal shelter system. Regarding the refugees, UNHCR declared that in 2017 there have been 22.5 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18.

How will you scale your idea? Please describe in detail your plan to scale your concept.

There are non-profit organizations that are working in providing first aid kit to refugees and homeless. Our idea is to develop a collaboration with these organizations to provide our product starting to the main city in the US.

How is your idea innovative?

In technical and design aspects, we are trying to make maximum Nike Grind recycled materials to not only make a sleeping bag but also design it considering the end user as well as the potential client. We use different layers of mixed textile to control the temperature and maintain freshness inside the bag. We also apply foam to design more ergonomic sleeping bag. A human-centered design sleeping bag made from Nike recycled materials to solve real social issue will have a positive impact.

What inspired this idea?

When we walk on the street in NYC, there are thousands of homeless just sleeping on the floor or a corner on the street. They feel cold, unsafe and either generate the sense of unsafety to the passers-by. Thus, we came up with an idea of an easy-carrying, warm and comfortable sleeping bag.

Tell us about yourself and your team. What is your background and experience?

We are a student team from NYU, and we are all having the class called design thinking. All of us are graduate students and focus on different majors.

In what city are you located?


In what country are you located?



Join the conversation:

Photo of Dahalia Jackson

This is an awesome idea. Just last week I visited NYC and my daughter pointed out that even in the daytime the people who are homeless were sleeping on the concrete with cardboard boxes and little or no covering from the elements. Your idea in collaboration with other organizations will surly have an impact on addressing common global issues.

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