Greenpeace Detox challenge to Adidas and Nike hits Toronto

Feature story - July 14, 2011
Toronto — Volunteers took to Greenpeace Detox campaign to Torontonians today. They were following up on the Detox challenge Greenpeace has issued to Adidas and Nike to be the first to cut the discharge of hazardous chemicals from supply chains.

The Detox campaign kicked off in Beijing where volunteers displayed a banner with the message “Detox” at the main entrance of both the worlds’ largest Adidas store and a nearby Nike store.

In Toronto, volunteers, Sandra, Adrianne and Fernanda, made four stops downtown, including an Adidas store on Queen St. with a mannequin sporting the Detox symbol, a Canadian flag and a speech bubble saying “Stop polluting water in China.” They also travelled to Toronto Island.  They talked to curious passersby about the campaign.

The pollution issue is identified in a new Greenpeace report, Dirty Laundry, that follows a year-long study of the toxic pollution that the textile industry in China is discharging.

Nike and Adidas, along with the Chinese brand Li Ning, have commercial links with textile producers that discharge a range of hazardous and persistent chemicals with hormone-disrupting properties into the deltas of the Yangtze and Pearl rivers.

The chemicals are a cause for serious concern, hazardous even at very low levels. The man-made chemicals persist in the environment and accumulate up the food with potentially devastating effects. 

These chemicals mess with human reproduction, harm development, damage the liver, affect the immune system, disrupt hormones and decrease sperm counts. 

About a quarter of the Chinese don’t have access to clean water. Up to 70 per cent of the rivers, lakes and reservoirs in China are affected by water pollution.

Adidas and Nike are the focus of the campaign because they are sportswear giants capable of having the greatest impact on improving supply chains. They can convince suppliers to eliminate all toxic chemicals.

Greenpeace wants Adidas and Nike to support drive a shift to non-hazardous chemicals, get rid of the worst chemicals right away and tell the public about their plans so suppliers can be held accountable.

There will be a great deal of Detox action on July 23 when Greenpeace tries to break a world record to push for toxic-free water. Stay tuned.

Be a champion of clean water. Help deliver a toxic-free future.

For more information visit:

Short backgrounder on the Detox campaign

The executive summary and the full Dirty Laundry report are available at