Decathlon is a French sportswear retailer founded in 1976 in Lille, France, by Michel Leclercq. The multinational clothing-retail company creates apparel, shoes, and gear for women, men, and kids.

Decathlon makes clothing, accessories, footwear, swimwear, underwear, and eyewear. It designs, develops, and markets products under many unique brands such as Oxela, Subea, Tribord, Quechua, Orao, Itiwit, Newfeel, Allsix, Wed'Ze, and more.

Decathlon is the largest sporting goods retailer in the world. It operates more than 1,600 stores and has 70,000 employees in stores, factories, logistics, brands, and subsidiaries across 60 countries where it does business.

Decathlon is a on mission to be useful to people and the planet. It aims to sustainably make the pleasure and benefits of sport accessible to the many.

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Sustainability Rating: 3/10

Rating FAQ

Category: Clothing, accessories, shoes, bags

For: Women, men, children

Type: Basics, activewear, underwear, loungewear, swimwear, outerwear, sneakers, boots, sandals

Style: Casual

Quality: Low

Price: $

Sizes: 2XS-4XL, 0-18 (US), 2-20 (UK), 32-52 (EU), 4-22 (AU), plus

Fabrics: Cotton, linen, lyocell, modal, viscose, acetate, polyester, nylon, spandex, polyethylene, polypropylene, acrylic, neoprene, polyurethane, rubber, leather, wool, silk, down

100% Organic: No

100% Vegan: No

Ethical & Fair: No

Recycling: Yes

Producing countries: Egypt, Ethiopia, Morocco, Tunisia, Brazil, Mexico, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Albania, France, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine, Russia, Madagascar, Japan, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Spain, Finland, Georgia, Hungary, Lithuania, Netherlands, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland

Certifications: BCI, GRS, RCS, FSC, RDS

Sustainability Practices

Decathlon takes wide-ranging actions divided into three pillars: developing the human side, preserving nature and creating sustainable value. It aims to become a responsible and more sustainable company.

Decathlon wants to protect biodiversity, reduce its impact on the environment, its consumption of water, energy, and other resources, avoid waste, and combat climate change.

Decathlon only uses a small proportion of organic materials such as organic cotton or recycled materials such as recycled cotton and recycled polyester.

Most of the fabrics it uses are either natural without relevant certifications, such as regular cotton or linen, or synthetic petroleum-based fibers such as polyester, nylon, acrylic, and more.

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

Decathlon doesn't publish a list of its manufacturers and processing facilities on its corporate website. It doesn't disclose how it chooses its network of suppliers.

The 2021 Fashion Transparency Index gave Decathlon a score of only 24% based on how much the group discloses about its social and environmental policies, practices, and impacts.

Decathlon manufactures its clothes in Turkey and many other East Asian countries where human rights and labor law violations still happen every day.

The French clothing retailer doesn't show any labor certification standard that would ensure good working conditions, decent living wages, health, safety, and other important rights for workers in its supply chain.

Decathlon has a code of conduct that applies to all its suppliers and subcontractors to ensure employees have a good quality working environment based on respect, the teams' fulfilment and preserving the environment.

Decathlon assesses compliance with its Code of Conduct by internal and external audits. In 2020, 62% of audits were conducted by internal
auditors who are trained in-house.

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

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

Sustainability Goals

Decathlon has committed to reducing its environmental impact to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. It's conscious that manufacturing, transport and the use and distribution of its products have an impact on the planet.

Decathlon plans to reduce its absolute GHG emissions by 90% in its Scope 1 and 2 by 2026 from a 2016 base year. It also plans to reduce its GHG emission intensity by 53% scope 1, 2, and 3 over the same time frame.

Decathlon will implement 100% renewable electricity in its stores and warehouses by 2026. It will also have 90% of purchasing volumes produced from suppliers who only use renewable electricity by 2026.

Decathlon plans to source 100% of its cotton from more sustainable sources at the end of 2020 (recycled, BCI, organic cotton), and 100% of polyester from more sustainable sources by the end of 2022 (recycled, solution-dyed).

Decathlon aims to source 95% of its materials used for packaging
from more sustainable and certified sources and 95% of paper pulp used for packaging certified FSC or PEFC by 2026.

Decathlon has also committed to have 90% of level 1 suppliers ranked A,B, or C in line with its audit grid. It will attain gender parity within
its teams throughout the world by 2026.

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What We're Up Against

Fast fashion groups overproducing cheap clothes in the poorest countries.
Garment factories with sweatshop-like conditions underpaying workers.
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