How Nike Went from Sweatshops to Sustainable Business Practices

While the numbers may vary, there’s no doubt that the fashion industry is one of the largest polluters in the world. And as society recognizes our need for sustainability and less consumption overall, brands like Nike are adapting to better suit ours and our environment’s needs.

The brand once used sweatshops and unsafe working conditions, now, after improved worker conditions and pay, they are a prime example for other retailers to follow suit.

In Protecting the Future of Sport on Nike News, Nike’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Noel Kinder, stated that, “At Nike, we know that the future of sport is interlocked with the future of our planet. That understanding serves as our North Star for sustainability.”

Here are just some of the ways in which Nike paves the way in sustainability: 

In 2015 Nike joined RE100 to commit to reaching 100% renewable energy for owned or operated facilities by 2025.

Nike uses sustainable material innovations like recycled polyester Flyknit, Flyleather, and Nike Air. (According to Nike, shoes made with Flyknit material creates 60% less scrap waste than a typical shoe).

Recently Nike partnered with Iberdrola, a global clean energy leader, to begin sourcing 100% renewable, sustainable energy in Europe by 2020.

This year Nike announced to signing on to the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. This includes a 30% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and the vision to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.