World’s largest striptease challenges Adidas and Nike to Detox

Feature story - July 23, 2011
Filipino volunteers today joined more than 600 people from 29 cities in 10 countries [1] in whipping off their Adidas and Nike apparel, to attempt the record setting the record for the world’s largest striptease and challenging the global sportswear giants to eliminate hazardous chemical releases from their supply chain and products and become champions for a toxic-free future.

At exactly 5:00PM, Manila time, some 39 dancers participated in the world record attempt at the Pinyahan basketball court, joining other teams of dancers, comprising Greenpeace activists, supporters and consumers who signed up online, in 29 cities around the globe including Paris, Beijing and Buenos Aires, teams of dancers to, simultaneously perform a choreographed striptease, taking off their clothes to reveal the message ‘Detox’.

Adding to the festive atmosphere in Pinyahan were Higantes (giant traditional puppets) wearing race bibs bearing the messages “detox my sportswear” and “detox our water” and Detox mannequins, which have been making the rounds in public to spread the campaign, bearing cartoon-style speech bubbles telling the sports giants “Nike, detox our water. Just do it!” and “Adidas, If Impossible is nothing, cut the chemicals!”


“When you strip back all the marketing hype, the naked truth is revealed - Adidas and Nike are playing on the same team as toxic polluters”, said Martin Hojsik, Beau Baconguis, Toxics Campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, speaking from the Pinyahan community sports center in Quezon City Greenpeace Toxic Water Campaign Coordinator. “Today’s striptease tells clothing companies that people around the world want them to team up with their suppliers and Detox – why don’t Adidas and Nike show us something in return?”


“As industry frontrunners, major sportswear brands have a responsibility to show leadership and clean up their acts. Adidas and Nike talk a good game, but they must show some real champion pedigree on the field and lead the textile industry towards a world free from toxic water pollution. The ball is now in their court”, added Baconguis concluded Hojsik.

Today’s global striptease, which will be submitted to Guinness World Records, is part of an ongoing Greenpeace campaign calling on Adidas and Nike to eliminate all releases of hazardous chemicals from their entire supply chain and products. A year-long Greenpeace investigation into toxic water pollution in China found links between a number of major clothing brands [2], including Adidas and Nike, and suppliers in China who were found to be discharging persistent and bioaccumulative hormone disruptors into China’sese rivers [3]. The findings from the research provide a snapshot of the kind of toxic chemicals that are being released by the textile industry into waterways all over the world, and are indicative of a much wider problem that is having serious and far-reaching consequences for people and wildlife.

“Our waterways here in the Philippines are facing the same threats from textile and other industries.  But we are confident that teamwork from industry leaders, communities, governments and consumers will go a long way toward rehabilitating the world’s rivers, which are our lifelines.  But someone has to start the ball rolling,” concluded said Beau Baconguis, Toxics Campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, speaking from the Pinyahan community sports center in Quezon City.

Some 50 dancers participated in the Guinness attempt at the Pinyahan basketball court, a popular sports arena which can be found in every community in the Philippines.  Adding to the festive atmosphere in Pinyahan were Higantes (traditional giant puppets) wearing race bibs bearing the messages “detox my sportswear” and “detox our water.”  Detox mannequins, which have been making the rounds in public to spread the campaign, were also on hand, bearing cartoon-style speech bubbles telling the sports giants “Nike, detox our water. Just do it!” and “Adidas, If Impossible is nothing, cut the chemicals!”

Video documentation of the event will be submitted to the team at Guinness World Records in the coming days for official acknowledgment. A video showing the global events will be released online early next week at: www.greenpeace.org/detox whilst a newsreel will be available from today.


Notes to editor:

  1. Austria (Vienna), China (Beijing),Czech Republic (Prague), France (Paris), Germany (Regensburg, Kassel, Niederrhein, Berlin, Frankfurt/Main, Köln, Chiemgau, Bremerhaven, Leipzig, Deggendorf, Freiburg, Hamburg, Zollernalbkreis, Kiel, Lüneburg, Krefeld, Aachen, Esslingen, Oldenburg, Hannover, Essen and Lübeck), Netherlands (Amsterdam), Philippines (Manila), Spain (Madrid),Switzerland (Basel) and Thailand (Bangkok).
  2. The brands found to have commercial links with toxic polluters were: Abercrombie & Fitch, Adidas, Bauer Hockey, Calvin Klein, Converse, Cortefiel, H&M, Lacoste, Li Ning, Meters/bonwe, Nike, Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation (PVH Corp), Puma and Youngor. None of the brands featured in the report have comprehensive chemicals management policies that would allow them to have a complete overview of the hazardous chemicals used and released across their entire supply chains, and to act on this information. For more information, see page 38 of the Dirty Laundry report, available at http://www.greenpeace.org/dirtylaundryreport
  3. The campaign is built upon a year-long investigation in China that uncovered persistent, bioaccumulative and hormone-disrupting chemicals in the waste water from suppliers who have commercial links with the brands. These chemicals pose long-term threats to the environment and to human health and the findings provide a snapshot of a much wider problem affecting the textile industry. What makes many of these chemicals so dangerous is that they are not only persistent (meaning that they do not readily break down in the environment), but also bioaccumulative, (meaning that they can build up in the food chain and can have serious, long-term effects on the organisms that ingest them). For more detailed information on the specific chemicals check box 4.3, of the "Dirty Laundry" report, page 78). Previous Greenpeace investigations have also detected the persistent and hormone disrupting pollutants alkylphenols and PFCs in fish species along the Yangtze River: http://www.greenpeace.org/eastasia/press/reports/swimming-in-poison-yangtze-fish

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