27 July 2011

Nike vs Adidas - Greenpeace Detox Challenge

Yesterday morning, I was e-mailed a press release from Greenpeace about the detoxification of three sportswear giants - Puma, Nike and Adidas. Initially, I was excited for the fact I had been sent a press release (someone thinks I'm press!), but while reading the Greenpeace article, I learnt that these huge corporations are responsible for releasing hazardous and hormone-disrupting chemicals into Chinese rivers.

(Image source: greenpeace.org)
I'll admit the information was somewhat surprising. Although having watched documentaries and read news articles about the negative environmental impact of major sportswear brands, I thought the problem would have been resolved by now. Evidently, this is not the case.

Two weeks after Greenpeace launched its 'Dirty Laundry' report, Puma have publicly committed to eliminate the release of toxic chemicals from its entire product lifecycle by 2020, and now Greenpeace looks to Nike and Adidas to equally commit.

However, Martin Hojsik, Coordinator of the Toxic Water campaign at Greenpeace International, says: "It's not enough for Nike and Adidas to follow Puma's lead. Greenpeace is calling on all three companies to show leadership by becoming more transparent about the hazardous chemicals currently released during the manufacture of their products."

According to Greenpeace, action to push Nike and Adidas in the same direction as Puma has already been in the works, although I must say their chosen campaigning method was a little strange...

On Saturday 23rd, more than 600 people joined Greenpeace activists outside Nike and Adidas stores across ten countries to set the world record for the largest simultaneous striptease. Yes, you read that correctly - a striptease to stop toxic water pollution. But since Greenpeace is such a renowned organisation, I'm assuming this striptease was somehow related to its cause. I'm assuming.

Nevertheless, striptease or no striptease, it appears Greenpeace are tackling a problem I thought was no longer as such. With most of the media attention having been focused on the issues of sweatshops and child labour, I guess the environmental impacts of major brands have been slightly overlooked.

So I'd like to thank Greenpeace, not only for recognising me as press, but also for enlightening me and helping me to see a side of the fashion industry often forgotten. Just don't expect me to participate in any of your saucy antics!

(Check out the campaign video below, or for more information, visit greenpeace.org)

© Joseph Kent / www.unlimitedbyjk.com

All photographs are subject to copyright law, and must not be reproduced without express permission.

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