Adidas joins Nike and Puma in Going Toxic-Free
by Eoin Dubsky
August 31, 2011
Adidas is going toxic-free, the company has just announced! This is great news for our environment, our rivers and the millions of people in China and elsewhere who depend on rivers for drinking water and agriculture. Without the coming together of Greenpeace supporters and activists to challenge Nike, Adidas and other would-be champions to lead the way towards a toxic-free future, it would have taken much longer to achieve.
The world’s top three sportswear brands — Nike, Adidas and Puma — have now committed publicly to eliminate all discharges of hazardous chemicals throughout their supply chain and across the entire lifecycle of their products by 2020. (See Adidas’s statement here)
No ‘safe’ amount of hazardous chemicals
Importantly, Adidas’s commitment to zero discharge’ of hazardous chemicals means that the world’s three leading sportswear companies have recognised that there is no such thing as a ‘safe limit’ when it comes these substances. This is a significant shift for the companies.
It’s also a milestone for our campaign to stop industry poisoning our water with hazardous, persistent and hormone-disrupting chemicals.
Detoxing is back in fashion
There’s movement among the laggards too. Since news of the tainted clothing has spread internationally in the fashion and business media, Lacoste, G-Star Raw, Uniqlo and Chinese sports brand Li Ning have begun to engage. Greenpeace campaigners will begin talks with them in the coming weeks to turn their initial engagement into strong and binding individual commitments for a toxic-free future.
Adidas is ‘all in’
As part of its commitment, Adidas has included some very specific and immediate actions, including a Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) phase-out roadmap and a commitment to work with all tiers of their supply chain. NPEs — which are used as surfactants in textile production — subsequently break down to form toxic nonylphenol (NP). Nonylphenol is a persistent chemical with hormone-disrupting properties that builds up in the food chain, and is hazardous even at very low levels.
Crucially, Adidas has also agreed to further promote the principle of the right to know’, ensuring full transparency about the chemicals being released from its suppliers’ factories, facility-by-facility, year-by-year. It has also 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 action plan within seven weeks.
This is why we campaign
With these commitments, Nike, Adidas and Puma have broken away from the other big name clothing brands listed in our “Dirty Laundry 2” report, such as H&M and Abercrombie and Fitch. In the coming weeks we will be watching closely to ensure that the sportswear leaders turn their words into actions and provide a concrete and ambitious implementation plan.
To everyone who has taken part to make the Detox campaign work this far — Thank you! There’s still a long way to go, but with your support we are winning.