The China Times

Greenpeace Complaint to Adidas and Nike for Polluting the Rivers in China

July 13, 2011

The environmental organization Greenpeace has unveiled its latest report ‘Dirty laundry’. It reveals that there are commercial ties between a number of international brands such as Adidas, Nike and Li-Ning with two Chinese manufacturers responsible for pouring hazardous chemicals in China’s major rivers like the Yangtze and the Pearl.

The research studied the toxic water pollution in China, specifically in two of the thousands of plants. Greenpeace has detected chemicals in discharges of the factories located in river deltas.

This practice not only poses a serious threat to biodiversity but also affects health of people. However, Nike and Adidas are not the only on the list: Li Ning, Abercrombie & Fitch, Bauer Hockey, Calvin Klein, Converse, Cortefiel, H & M, Lacoste, Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation and Puma, and even Chinese brands such as Meters/bonwe and Youngor also swell the list.

“Dirty laundry” is the continuation of another recent publication called ‘hidden consequences’, which opened the complaint to the industrial pollution in rivers worldwide. Alongside the presentation of the study, Greenpeace activists unfurled a banner with the message ‘Detox’ in the front door of the world’s largest Adidas shop located in Beijing, to ask these companies to raise awareness.

Greenpeace activists display a banner with the message "Detox" at the main entrance of the world's biggest Adidas store in Beijing July 13, 2011. GETTY IMAGES

The challenge ‘Detox’

On its website, Greenpeace further elaborates on the challenge ‘Detox’, mean detoxification. The challenge Detox is part of an awareness campaign launched by Gla organization, calling “brands, especially Adidas and Nike, to take the initiative and use their influence on its supply chain.”

The organization invites all brands to ‘decontaminate’ the supply chain and their products and defend a toxic free future. To achieve this, under the theme “Challenge Nike and Adidas to remove the chemicals and clean up our waters’, the organization promotes an awareness campaign.

A global challenge

The organization encourages businesses to join the starting change by modifying the production process to promote the selection of suppliers, product design and control of the final product. Expected to become advocates of a future without adopting comprehensive policies on toxic chemicals management to reduce and eliminate the most hazardous substances routinely.

“We trace the toxic products in the textile industry poured into rivers and other waterways around the world.” said Martin Hojsik, campaign coordinator for Greenpeace International.

Given that some of these brands promote slogans like ‘Just do it’, ‘Impossible is nothing’ and ‘Make the Change’, the challenge may be impossible.

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