Nike is an American multinational corporation that creates shoes, clothing, and accessories. The Nike name comes from the Greek goddess of victory.
Nike is the world's largest supplier of athletic shoes and apparel. Adidas is the largest sportswear company in Europe and the second-largest in the world after Nike.
Nike was founded in 1964 and headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon. It markets its products under its brand, as well as subsidiaries Jordan, and Converse.
Nike has been running various sustainability campaigns over the past few years, such as its Nike Grind program, its Reuse-A-Shoe program, its Trash Talk Shoe, and more.
Nike is committed to fighting against climate change. It works to become more sustainable and preserve the planet as a means of protecting the future of sports.
The sportswear label takes global action to prevent the reduction of time spent on the field.
Many U.S. states have adopted rules to keep players safe in increasingly hot and humid conditions.
If the trend continues, time spent on the field could decrease by up to two months in parts of Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi by 2050.
The danger for those in snow sports is even greater.
The average number of quality snowboarding days has decreased by 7 percent during the past 30 years around the world. By 2050, those days could shrink by 11 to 22 percent.
Nike is working to minimize its environmental footprint and maximize avenues for positive impact under its “Move to Zero” initiative.
Currently, Nike diverts 99 percent of all footwear manufacturing waste and more than 1 billion plastic bottles per year from landfills to create yarns for new jerseys and uppers for Flyknit shoes.
The retail giant is taking a sustainable design approach to classic silhouettes. Its latest viral sneakers, the Nike Air VaporMax 2020, are made with at least 50 percent recycled content by weight.
Sustainability Rating: 5/10
Category: Clothing, shoes, bags, accessories
For: Women, men, children
Type: Sportswear, basics, dresses, loungewear, sneakers, swimwear, underwear, outerwear, sweaters
Style: Casual, hip hop
Sizes: XS-3XL, 2-26 (US), 4-30 (UK), 32-58 (EU), 6-32 (AU), plus size
Fabrics: Cotton, lyocell, modal, acetate, viscose, polyester, polyethylene, nylon, spandex, acrylic, polyurethane, rubber, leather, wool, down
100% Organic: No
100% Vegan: No
Ethical & Fair: No
Producing country: Argentina, Bosnia And Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, China, Croatia, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Vietnam
Certifications: FSC, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 45001
"Our purpose is to unite the world through sport to create a healthy planet, active communities, and an equal playing field for all. [...] If there is no planet, there is no sport. This understanding drives our North Star for sustainability - a future where all athletes have access to safe places to play and train, enjoy sport and realize their full potential."
Nike is taking action for a better, more circular future. It aims to protect the planet and help create a better future for sports. It believes that a stable climate is necessary for athletic performance.
Nike is developing sustainable products with innovative new materials. Its “Move to Zero” initiative is a journey towards a zero-carbon and zero-waste future.
With its Reuse-A-Shoe program, you can recycle your sneakers and transform them into Nike Grind material, used in performance products. The brand is committed to transparency, accountability, and impact.
It has developed a lighter shipping box to reduce its carbon footprint. The box is made of sustainably sourced materials such as recycled cardboard and responsible wood from FSC certified sustainable forests.
Nike also sources renewable energy and improves how much waste it recycles. It has pledged to plant at least 1 million trees in partnership with WeForest.
Nike continues to increase the proportion of sustainable materials it sources. It supports inspiration and innovation to make products responsibly and more sustainably.
Nike 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 polyethylene.
Nike 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 and Code Leadership Standards that apply to all its suppliers and subcontractors. It measures performance and compliance with its Sustainable Manufacturing and Sourcing Index (SMSI).
Nike monitors finished goods suppliers through regular announced and unannounced audits, including audits by accredited third parties such as the Fair Labor Association (FLA).
Nike publishes a list of all its manufacturing and processing facilities. It encourages suppliers to make improvements to respect the rights of workers and create a safe working environment.
However, there is no evidence that employees have access to living standards through improved wage systems, benefits, welfare programs, and other services that enhance their quality of life.
The 2020 Fashion Transparency Index gave Nike a score of 55% based on how much the group discloses about its social and environmental policies, practices, and impacts. Nike ranks number 10 in the top 10 most transparent brands.
Nike manufactures a lot of its clothes in many East Asian countries where human rights and labor law violations still happen every day.
Nike has been accused of practicing child labor many times over the years. They have used many unethical practices to become the top-selling activewear brand in the world.
Many Nike factories aren't monitored externally by labor rights experts. And the brand maintains a culture of discrimination and sexual harassment.
Nike 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.
Nike aims to source 100% sustainable cotton and achieve 100% sustainable input chemistry by enabling Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) to phase out hazardous chemicals by 2020.
The brand plans a 10% reduction in the average environmental footprint in 2020. It wants to decrease energy use and CO2 emissions by 25% in key operations.
Nike plans to power owned-and-operated facilities with 100% renewable energy by 2025.
The sportswear label has signed the United Nations Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action. It aims to reduce its carbon emissions across its global supply chain by 30% by 2030.
Nike has partnered with organizations such as the Fair Labor Association (FLA), Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Better Work Programme, and the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) to address labor risks in its supply chain.
Nike continues to expand its work with other peers, NGOs, and organizations to increase respect for human rights and to accelerate positive impact in the countries where its suppliers operate.
Discover Nike's sustainable collections at nike.com.
About the Author: Alex Assoune
Alex Assoune (MS) is a global health and environmental advocate. He founded Panaprium to inspire others with conscious living, ethical, and sustainable fashion. Alex has worked in many countries to address social and environmental issues. He speaks three languages and holds two Master of Science degrees in Engineering from SIGMA and IFPEN schools.