Impossible is nothing as Adidas joins Nike and Puma in cleaning up their supply chain

Press release - September 1, 2011
Adidas, the world’s second largest sportswear brand, has responded to the Greenpeace ‘Detox’ challenge by announcing [1] its commitment to zero discharge of hazardous chemicals throughout its entire supply chain and across the entire lifecycle of its products by 2020 [2].

The commitment comes just seven weeks after the Greenpeace report, “Dirty Laundry” [3], revealed commercial links between major clothing brands [4], including Adidas, Nike [5] and Puma [6], and suppliers responsible for releasing toxic pollution into China’s rivers. The follow-up product testing report released last week, “Dirty Laundry II – Hung out to dry” [7] provided further evidence that chemicals capable of breaking down into persistent, bioaccumulative and hormone-disrupting substances, such as nonylphenol, were being used during the manufacturing processes of over 14 international brands, including H&M and Abercrombie and Fitch.

“Adidas’ individual commitment to zero discharge means that it recognises that there are no ‘safe limits’ and that only total elimination of hazardous chemicals is acceptable. This is great news for our environment, our rivers and the millions of people in China and elsewhere who depend on waterways for their livelihoods” said Beau Baconguis, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Toxics Campaigner.

“The road towards a zero discharge is a long one and while Nike, Adidas and Puma are now competing and collaborating in the race towards a toxic-free future, it is urgent that they turn words into actions and provide concrete and ambitious implementation plan and begin making real changes on the ground,” continued Baconguis.

As part of its commitment Adidas has included some very specific and immediate actions, including an NPE (Nonylphenol Ethoxylates) phase-out map based on a `no safe levels´ approach, and a commitment to work with all tiers of their supply chain. Adidas has also agreed to address the principle of the "right to know" by ensuring full transparency about the chemicals being released from its suppliers' factories [8], and has explicitly stated its commitment to developing a cross-industry approach in addition to its own individual implementation plan. The company has promised to deliver its plan within the next seven weeks.

“With the sports brands blazing the trail and publicly committed to driving the industry with them, it is now the turn of other big industry players to up their game and champion a transparency revolution across the sector as they race towards zero toxic chemicals.” commented Tommy Crawford, Strategic Communications Manager for Greenpeace international.

Following the release of the Dirty Laundry reports it appears that “Detoxing” is back in fashion, with a number of other clothing brands publicly engaging in the “Detox” challenge, including Lacoste [9], G-Star Raw [10], Uniqlo [11] and Chinese sports brand Li Ning. Greenpeace will be in dialogue with all of these brands in the coming weeks to turn their initial engagement into strong and binding individual commitments for a toxic-free future.

Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. Greenpeace is campaigning to stop industrial pollution of our water with hazardous, persistent and hormone-disrupting chemicals by demanding that companies and governments take action to “Detox” our future.


  • Beau Baconguis, Toxics Campaigner, +63917 8715257, +63 2 3321807 loc 119,
  • JP Agcaoili, Media Campaigner, +63 917 631 2750, +63 2 3321807 loc 121,
  • Greenpeace International Press Desk Hotline +31 (0) 20 7182470

For images please visit: or contact:

  • Grace Duran-Cabus +63 917 8860662, +63 2 3321807 loc 118,

Notes to editors:

  1. Adidas published an initial statement on August 26th which was later replaced with a more comprehensive commitment on the evening of August 30th, following lengthy dialogue with Greenpeace International
  2. Adidas committed to the elimination of hazardous chemicals on August 30th:
  3. A year-long Greenpeace investigation into toxic water pollution in China found links between a number of major clothing companies, including Adidas and Nike, and suppliers in China who were found to be discharging persistent and bioaccumulative hormone disruptors into Chinese rivers. 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. To read the executive summary or full “Dirty Laundry” report visit:
  4. 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.
  5. Nike committed to the elimination of hazardous chemicals on August 18th
  6. Puma committed to the elimination of hazardous chemicals on July 26th
  7. The “Dirty Laundry 2” is available at
  8. “Further, we recognize that to achieve the goal of zero discharge of hazardous chemicals, mechanisms for disclosure and transparency about the hazardous chemicals used in our global supply chains are important and necessary , in line with the ‘right to know principle” “Within seven weeks, we will develop a roadmap specifically for the adidas Group and our entire supply chain, which will include programmes and actions that we commit to, including actions concerning disclosure.”
  9. Lacoste post dated august 29th 2011, available at