Adidas join Nike and Puma in cleaning up their supply chain1 September 2011
Greenpeace say that Adidas, the world's second largest sportswear brand, has responded to their 'Detox' challenge by committing to zero discharge of hazardous chemicals throughout its entire supply chain and across the entire lifecycle of its products, by 2020.
The commitment comes just seven weeks after the publication of the Greenpeace report, ‘Dirty Laundry’, which revealed commercial links between major clothing brands, including Adidas, Nike and Puma, and suppliers responsible for releasing toxic pollution into Chinese rivers. The follow-up product testing report, released last week, ‘Dirty Laundry II - Hung out to dry’ provided further evidence that chemicals capable of breaking down into persistent, bioaccumulative, and hormone-disrupting substances, such as nonylphenol (NP), were being used during the manufacturing processes of over 14 international brands, including H&M and Abercrombie and Fitch.
‘Adidas' commitment to zero discharges shows it recognises that there are no 'safe limits' and that only total elimination of hazardous chemicals from its supply chain 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 Yifang Li, Greenpeace East Asia Toxic Campaigner.
‘The road towards 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 plans and begin making real changes on the ground,’ continued Li.
As part of its commitment, Adidas has included some very specific and immediate actions, including a NPE phase-out map based on a 'no safe levels' approach, and a commitment to work with all levels 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. It has explicitly stated its commitment to developing a cross-industry approach in addition to its own individual implementation plan. Adidas has promised to deliver a detailed plan within the next seven weeks.
‘Now the market leaders have blazed a trail for the industry to follow, we’ll be making sure the pack maintain the pace as they race towards zero. All around the world, the consumers of both their products and their pollution deserve nothing less than full transparency and a total detox,’ added Greenpeace UK campaigner Tamara Stark.
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, G-Star Raw, Uniqlo and Chinese sports brand Li Ning.
Greenpeace will be talking with all of these brands in the coming weeks to turn their initial engagement into strong individual commitments for a toxic-free future.