Pressure from Greenpeace seems to be working - three of the leading sports brands - Nike, Puma and Adidas - have committed to having zero discharge of hazardous chemicals throughout their supply chains by 2020.
"Throughout the supply chain" means that every single supplier these companies deal with will have to clean up their act as well.
Greenpeace’s Dirty Laundry campaign named and shamed a number of clothing brands that were associated with toxic pollution in China's Yangtze river.. The result: the companies are cleaning up their act across the board. They used some innovative methods of getting the word out... including "strip-offs" in major cities in which model-look activists danced and removed items of offending clothing.
As reported in The Environmental Leader, Greenpeace found nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) in clothing from 14 brands: Abercombie & Fitch, Adidas, Calvin Klein, Converse, G-Star RAW, H&M, Kappa, Lacoste, Li Ning, Nike, Puma, Ralph Lauren, Uniqlo and Youngor. These chemicals break down to form nonylphenol, which has "toxic, persistent and hormone-disrupting properties"
It would be nice if they could do it quicker than by 2020, of course... but this is a good start. And Adidas says they are working to put together an industry-wide coalition. “We believe there needs to be an industry-wide approach and that’s why we’re trying to get together as a group,” an Adidias spokeswoman told BusinessGreen. “We’ve already had first discussions with other brands and we’ve been in constant dialogue in the last couple of weeks.”
Learn more about Greenpeace's Detox Campaign.