Adidas is a German multinational corporation that creates shoes, clothing, and accessories. It strives to be sustainable by balancing shareholder expectations and the concerns of its employees and the environment.

It was founded in 1924 and headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany. Today, Adidas is the largest sportswear company in Europe and the second-largest in the world after Nike.

It owns the Reebok sportswear brand, the Matix Clothing brand, and Runtastic, an Austrian fitness company that combines traditional fitness with mobile applications.

The sportswear giant’s Stan Smith and Superstar sneakers are some of the most iconic shoes ever made. They are convenient to wear, good looking, and comfortable.

Adidas has been making numerous sustainability campaigns over the past few years such as its collaboration with Parley against plastic pollution.

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Sustainability Rating: 5/10

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Category: Clothing, shoes, bags, accessories

For: Women, men, children

Type: Sportswear, basics, dresses, loungewear, sneakers, swimwear, underwear, outerwear, sweaters

Style: Casual, hip hop

Quality: Medium

Price: $$

Sizes: 2XS-4XL, 0-26 (US), 2-28 (UK), 28-56 (EU), 4-30 (AU), plus size

Fabrics: Cotton, lyocell, modal, acetate, viscose, polyester, nylon, spandex, acrylic, polystyrene, polyurethane, rubber, leather, wool, down

100% Organic: No

100% Vegan: No

Ethical & Fair: Yes

Recycling: Yes

Producing country: Argentina, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bosnia And Herzegovina, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, El Salvador, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Lesotho, Lithuania, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Vietnam

Certifications: RDS, FSC, ISO 14001, ISO 45001, ISO 50001

Sustainability Practices

"We are committed to steadily increasing the use of more sustainable materials in our production, products, and stores. We push toward sustainable innovation and continue to drive toward closed-loop recycling systems."

Adidas claims to be serious about creating a healthy environment. It's developing tools to minimize shedding and release of microfibers into the environment.

The global sportswear brand continues to increase the proportion of sustainable materials it sources. It supports the global innovation platform Fashion for Good with donations.

Adidas takes responsibility for the entire life cycle of products. It launched a Take Back Program throughout nine stores in New York, Los Angeles, London, and Paris.

The apparel giant is also working on making products easy to recycle to eliminate waste. It often collects used sporting goods from consumers, checks their quality, and donates them for a good cause.

Adidas only uses a small proportion of sustainable materials such as organic cotton, or recycled materials such as recycled nylon and recycled polyester.

Most of the fabrics it uses are highly polluting synthetic petroleum-based fibers such as polyester, nylon, spandex, acrylic, and polystyrene.

Adidas also uses a little amount of semi-synthetic fibers or man-made regenerated cellulosic fabrics such as lyocell, modal, acetate, and viscose.

The sportswear brand has a code of conduct that applies to all its suppliers and subcontractors based on the regulations set by the International Labor Organization (ILO).

The Adidas Group publishes a list of all its manufacturing and processing facilities. It seeks business partners who progressively raise employee living standards through improved wage systems, benefits, welfare programs, and other services that enhance their quality of life.

The 2020 Fashion Transparency Index gave Adidas a score of 69% based on how much the group discloses about its social and environmental policies, practices, and impacts. Adidas earned the 3rd place in the top 10 most transparent brands behind H&M and C&A.

Adidas manufactures a lot of its clothes in many East Asian countries where human rights and labor law violations still happen every day.

It's, however, a member of the Fair Labor Association (FLA), a non-profit collaborative effort making unannounced visits to factories, reporting findings, and delivering accreditation based on social compliance.

Adidas doesn't use any exotic animal skin, or hair, fur, angora. But it uses leather, wool, and down feathers to manufacture some of its clothing.

These animal-derived materials are cruel and unethical. They also harm the environment by producing greenhouse gases and wastes. More sustainable alternatives exist.

Sustainability Goals

Adidas is continuously working towards becoming a more sustainable company. It takes a responsibility to look after the environment, both for people today and for future generations.

The sportswear brand aims to achieve 100% sustainable input chemistry by adopting the ZDHC Manufacturing Restricted Substance List and phasing out hazardous chemicals by 2020.

Adidas has signed the United Nations Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action. It has committed to reducing both its own and its suppliers’ greenhouse gas emissions compared to 2017 by 30% by 2030 and to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

Adidas is also a founding member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) and joining the United Nations Climate Neutral Now Initiative.

It's committed to steadily increasing the use of more sustainable materials in our production, products, and stores. It plans to use only recycled polyester in every product and on every application where a solution exists by 2024.

Adidas also aims to reduce water usage by 35% per employee by 2020 (2008 baseline) as well as reduce water intensity at its strategic suppliers by 20% by 2020 (2014 baseline).

The group has deployed wage assessment tools and guidance to two dozen suppliers to progressively pay fair wages. It plans to align with Fair Labor Association activities to promote supply chain fair compensation in the next few years.

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