Sports Direct is a British fashion retailer founded in Maidenhead in 1982 by Mike Ashley and headquartered in Shirebrook, United Kingdom. The multinational clothing-retail company creates fast fashion for men, women, and children.

Sports Direct makes clothing, accessories, shoes, swimwear, and equipment. British retailer Frasers Group owns Sports Direct along with many other brands like Jack Wills, House of Fraser, Missguided, 18Montrose, Game, USC, Flannels, Everlast, Donnay, Lonsdale, and more.

Sports Direct is the largest company in the Frasers Group. It operates more than 1,500 stores and has over 30,000 employees in stores, factories, logistics, brands, and subsidiaries across 20 countries where it does business.

Sports Direct has three core pillars: Sports, Lifestyle, and Luxury. It runs a global network of stores across fashion, luxury, experience, and sport and pushes the boundaries of traditional retail environments.

Sports Direct focuses on five key areas: People, Health and Safety, the Environment, Customers, and the Community. It recognizes it has a responsibility to manage its environmental impact.

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Sustainability Rating: 4/10

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Category: Clothing, accessories, shoes, bags

For: Women, men, children

Type: Basics, denim, dresses, knitwear, activewear, underwear, loungewear, swimwear, outerwear, nightwear, sandals, flats, sneakers, boots

Style: Casual

Quality: Low

Prices: $

Sizes: 2XS-4XL, 4-20 (US), 6-22 (UK), 36-52 (EU), 6-22 (AU)

Fabrics: Cotton, linen, hemp, lyocell, modal, viscose, cupro, 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: Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, China, India, Morocco, Pakistan, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Vietnam

Certifications: BCI, OCS, GRS, RDS, FSC, BSCI, Sedex

Sustainability Practices

Sports Direct only uses a tiny proportion of organic materials such as organic cotton and hemp or recycled materials such as recycled cotton, recycled polyester, and regenerated nylon.

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.

Sports Direct also uses a small proportion of semi-synthetic fibers or regenerated cellulosic fabrics such as Tencel lyocell, modal, acetate, and viscose.

Tencel is an eco-friendly fiber made with wood pulp from certified sustainable forests. But only a tiny proportion of the materials used by Sports Direct are environmentally friendly and sustainable.

Sports Direct doesn't publish a list of all its manufacturers and processing facilities on its corporate website. But it has committed to responsible practices in its business and supply chain.

The 2022 Fashion Transparency Index gave Sports Direct a score of only 6% based on how much the group discloses about its social and environmental policies, practices, and impacts.

Sports Direct manufactures its clothes in many East Asian countries, where human rights and labor law violations happen every day.

The British clothing retailer does show some labor certification standards that could ensure good working conditions, health, safety, and other crucial rights for workers in its supply chain.

Sports Direct doesn't have any code of conduct that applies to all its suppliers and subcontractors based on the regulations set by the International Labor Organization (ILO).

Sports Direct has adopted a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery
and human trafficking. It undertakes ethical business practices in line with its corporate social responsibilities.

Sports Direct only works with factories that have valid satisfactory third-party social auditing factory reports from organizations such as Amfori (BSCI) or Sedex.

Sports Direct doesn't use 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

Sports Direct has identified key areas where it can make a difference. It focuses on energy usage in its stores, transport, and waste management.

Sports Direct is continuously aiming to reduce its carbon footprint and actively reducing the amount of waste it sends to landfill. It stays committed to minimizing waste and improving energy efficiency.

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