Two Hong Kong activists take action at the Li Ning office.
When it comes to being guilty of using toxic chemicals, sports brand Li Ning isn't alone. A recent Greenpeace report has revealed that at least 14 global brands sell clothes containing the hormone-distrupting toxic chemical nonylphenol ethoxylate. The report was just the latest in our far-reaching Detox campaign which reveals the extent to which toxic chemicals move through the global clothing production cycle. An earlier report named Nike, Adidas and Li Ning as having commercial links to facilities that discharge a range of hazardous and persistent chemicals into the Yangtze and Pearl river deltas.
So no one's hands are clean. But when a company is trashing its own backyard, and endangering the health of their own people it's no suprise that Hong Kong activists gatecrashed the board meeting of Chinese sportswear giant Li Ning pretty fired up. Activists arrived early in the morning to the annual board meeting and placed huge "Detox" sticker on the screen doors. Their bright yellow banner read, "李寧要給力, 承諾零排放" ("Li Ning, Go Toxic Free!"). Thanks to a rather handy translucent glass wall there was no escaping our message. In fact the company's president, Mr. Li Ning himself, was right there to hear our cries.
After a 45 minute wait one of the board members, Mr. Chong Yik Kay Nicolas came out and received our letter. In front of the press, and with our banner as the backdrop, Greenpeace activist Vivien Yau expressed our demands: Li Ning's announcement on Monday of a limited commitment to reduce its use of toxic chemicals was not enough. The company must agree to the phase out of all toxic chemicial in production, as Nike and Puma have recently committed to doing. Mr. Chong did commit to ongoing direct discussions with Greenpeace. We're not quite there yet, but it's a step in the right direction.
"Greenpeace welcomes Li Ning’s statement as the first Chinese brand to take up the detox challenge," said Greenpeace Toxics Campaigner Li Yifang. "However, we still need more concrete details from Li Ning about how it will back up its promise to become more environmentally friendly. Li Ning has said it will reduce its use of harmful chemicals, but we are calling for the total elimination of all such chemicals."
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