Nike, Adidas targeted by Greenpeace

Greenpeace's 'Detox' campaign video singles out Nike and Adidas, but both companies deny using polluting processes.

Greenpeace's 'Detox' campaign video singles out Nike and Adidas, but both companies deny using polluting processes.

A report released Wednesday by Greenpeace linked Nike Inc. and Adidas AG to a pair of Chinese textile mills it said discharged hazardous chemicals into public water ways.

And in an accompanying media campaign, the international environmental advocacy group seems to put the onus on Nike and Adidas to end the practice.

Nike and Adidas, however, say their work at the offending factories isn’t what led to the hazardous chemical discharge.

In a 115-page report titled “Dirty Laundry,” Greenpeace details its year-long investigation into two factories — the Youngor Textile Complex in Ningbo, an area near Shanghai along the Yangtze River Delta, and Well Dyeing Factory Ltd. in Zhongshan, China, which it said discharges wastewater into a tributary of the Pearl River Delta.

The Greenpeace report mentions several consumer brands and retailers have relationships with the factories.

But it’s broader marketing campaign focuses solely on Nike and Adidas.

On the front page of its website, Greenpeace is promoting a “Detox campaign” in which it’s “challenging Nike and Adidas to champion a toxic-free future.”

“Game on, Nike and Adidas. Greenpeace is calling you out to see which one of you is stronger on the flats, quicker on the breaks, turns faster and plays harder at a game we’re calling ‘Detox’,” Greenpeace wrote on the campaign’s website.

“Whether you’re ‘All in’ with Adidas or believe in the Nike motto to ‘Just do it,’ you can challenge the brand you wear to win the race to a clean finish.”

The site even includes a poll asking which company will be the first to step-up to the challenge. As of 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, more than 1,800 people had voted, with Adidas was leading with 56 percent of the vote.

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@ErikSiemers | esiemers@bizjournals.com | 503-219-3418

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