Adidas is the last of the three largest sportswear companies to pledge to eliminate hazardous chemical discharges throughout its entire supply chain and across the entire lifecycle of its products by 2020.
The company joined Puma and Nike in making the commitment, just seven weeks after the release of a Greenpeace report, "Dirty Laundry," which linked the companies and their suppliers to the release of hazardous and hormone-disrupting chemicals into Chinese rivers.
As part of its commitment, Adidas is taking concrete, immediate actions including a phase-out map for bioaccumulative and hormone-disrupting substances, such as nonylphenol, based on a `no safe levels´ approach; and committed to work with all levels of its supply chain.
Adidas will also address the principle of "right to know" by ensuring full transparency about chemicals being released from suppliers' factories.
Adidas promised to deliver a detailed plan within the next seven weeks, and stated its commitment to developing a cross-industry approach in addition to its own individual implementation plan.
"Adidas' commitment to zero discharges shows it recognizes 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" says Yifang Li, Greenpeace East Asia Toxic Campaigner.
Greenpeace released a follow-up product testing report last week, "Dirty Laundry II - Hung Out to Dry," which expands the scope of the campaign to 14 other international brands, including H&M and Abercrombie and Fitch.
"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," says Li. "Urgent action is needed, and this will only happen with these brands championing a transparency revolution across the sector as they race towards zero."
Other clothing brands have already publicly engaged in the Greenpeace "Detox" challenge, including Lacoste, G-Star Raw, Uniqlo, and Chinese sports brand Li Ning. Greenpeace says it will be talking with all of these brands in the coming weeks to discuss individual commitments.