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Nike to clean up supply chain by 2020

Five weeks after Greenpeaces “Dirty Laundry” report broke, Nike has answered the bell, announcing that it will eliminate all releases of ha...

Freddie Pierce
|Aug 23|magazine7 min read

Five weeks after Greenpeace’s “Dirty Laundry” report broke, Nike has answered the bell, announcing that it will eliminate all releases of hazardous chemicals across its global supply chain by 2020.

The Greenpeace reportchallenged Nike and Adidas to clean up their supply chain. The “Dirty Laundry” report had found toxic chemicals in samples of wastewater discharges at textile factories with links to both global apparel leaders.

“Greenpeace is challenging the clothing brands named in this report to eliminate the releases of hazardous chemicals from their supply chain and products, and we are calling on trendsetting brands that have a major influence on their supply chains, such as Adidas and Nike, to take the lead,” Greenpeace East Asia Toxic Campaigner Yifang Li said.

Nike’s supply chain has answered the bell, so we’ll see if smaller brands fall in line. Adidas has yet to respond to the Greenpeace report, while Puma made a similar commitment to Nike in the Greenpeace campaign titled “Detox Challenge.”

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Nike has also agreed to allow for full transparency into the chemical side of its operations, displaying full disclosure into its suppliers’ factories. The apparel giant also promised to help use its influence and experience to encourage other clothing companies to do the same.

“We recognize the path to reaching this goal must be through innovation, the application of green chemistry, and broad industry and regulatory collaboration and engagement,” Nike said in a statement.

The company plans on releasing an implementation plan within eight weeks, and is encouraging collaboration to reach a solution to greening the global apparel supply chain.

“Due to the highly complex and shared nature of supply chains, we invite others in our industry to co-create a broader action plan for the industry, as collaboration is critical to drive progress,” Nike said.