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Nike Accelerates Sustainable Textiles Commitment by Partnering with bluesign technologies

Submitted by: Nike Inc.

Categories: Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability

Posted: Mar 18, 2013 – 04:15 PM EST


BEAVERTON, Ore., Mar. 18 /CSRwire/ - NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE) today announced a strategic partnership with Swiss company bluesign technologies to accelerate the supply of more sustainable materials and chemistries for use in NIKE, Inc. products.

This strategic partnership unlocks the potential for bluesign technologies’ industry-leading assessment tools to become accessible to materials suppliers, at an unprecedented scale and pace. Previously, to access these tools and data, a brand would have to take its supply chain through individual factory assessments. For an out-sourced global supply chain of Nike’s size, that would have taken a significant number of years and investment. The agreement involves opening up access to bluesign technologies’ key tools and data to an expanded supplier base at nominal cost.

bluesign technologies will provide Nike’s supply chain with access to two innovative tools - the bluesign® bluefinder and the bluesign® blueguide. The tools will be rolled out across NIKE Inc.’s global supply chain, which spans nearly 50 countries, more than 800 contracted factories, with hundreds of textile manufacturers supplying the factories making Nike products.

With bluefinder, a supplier can access pre-screened and more sustainable textile preparations (dye systems, detergents and other process chemicals used in the manufacturing process). The bluefinder enables suppliers to effectively manage restricted substances and provides the opportunity to increase water and energy efficiency. The blueguide gives Nike access to 30,000+ materials produced using chemicals from the bluefinder at facilities that have undergone rigorous assessment.

Nike, which introduced a Restricted Substances List in 2001, based on the most stringent worldwide legislation plus a number of voluntarily restricted substances, is pursuing an integrated strategy encouraging textile manufacturers and chemical suppliers to pursue positive chemistry while also working to eliminate hazardous substances through its internal processes and policies.

NIKE, Inc.’s VP of Sustainable Business & Innovation, Hannah Jones, calls the partnership a significant step in the company’s sustainable materials strategy: “Nike is committed to catalyzing a major change in the world of materials, driving for the elimination of hazardous substances and innovating new, sustainable materials. To shift to a palette of entirely sustainable materials multiple stakeholders must work together to innovate new chemistry, encourage the use and scale of better chemistry, and eliminate harmful chemistry.”

Nike’s relationship with bluesign technologies allows Nike to put a set of positive chemistries in the hands of materials suppliers. Nike knows that around 60% of the environmental impact of a pair of shoes is in the materials used. If Nike can encourage the materials industry to develop and supply more sustainable materials and work with the industry to scale that innovation, the positive implications are potentially significant, both for Nike and for those communities where textiles are made and treated. Nike hopes this relationship will help encourage others to collaborate in changing the way textiles are created.

Peter Waeber, bluesign technologies CEO, credits Nike with challenging bluesign to evolve its business model to meet the scale required by the global footwear and apparel brand. “Nike was persistent with us in working to find a scalable solution for a supply chain as large as theirs. By leveraging the bluesign® system, Nike has powerful tools at hand to meet and exceed the demands of its customers. With the rollout of a positive list of textile chemicals for its broad supplier base, Nike can support its supply chain to improve chemical sourcing and deliver positive environmental and consumer safety benefits.”

About NIKE, Inc.
NIKE, Inc. based near Beaverton, Oregon, is the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly-owned NIKE subsidiaries include Converse Inc., which designs, markets and distributes athletic lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories and Hurley International LLC, which designs, markets and distributes surf and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories. For more information, visit www.nikeinc.com and follow @Nike.

About bluesign technologies ag
Swiss-based bluesign technologies ag was founded in 2000. Since then, the bluesign® system has been adopted by worldwide leading textile manufacturers. Various significant key players of the chemical and machine industry apply the bluesign® system. Well-known brands of the sportswear and fashion industry rely on the extensive knowledge of bluesign technologies. SGS holds a stake of 80% in bluesign technologies ag. For more information, visit www.bluesign.com.

NIKE, Inc. – Chemistry Innovation Backgrounder:

NIKE, Inc. has been innovating in greener chemistry for more than 15 years. A commitment to design sustainability into products from the outset has been a hallmark of Nike’s approach.

  • 1995 – Nike began phasing out petroleum-derived solvents in its footwear.
  • 1997 – Nike began phase-out of the global warming SF6 gas, previously used in Air-Sole cushioning.
  • 2002 – Nike developed a formula for environmentally preferred rubber then shared the formula with the industry.
  • 2006 – Nike pioneered a materials sustainability index to enable designers to make better materials choices. In 2011 it shared this tool with the industry through the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC).
  • 2011 – Nike committed to a goal of eliminating the discharge of hazardous chemicals in its supply chain by 2020.
  • 2012 – Nike invested in DyeCoo Textile Systems B.V., a Dutch company that invented a revolutionary process to dye materials without water and subsequently reducing chemical discharge.
  • Nike works with the contract factories that produce its products to develop water quality and energy efficiency programs and voluntarily reports against its targets to reduce environmental impact across four key areas: water, chemistry, waste and energy.

For more information, please contact:

Delwyn Hudson Global Communications Director, Nike Inc.
Phone: +1 503-671-5711
Peter Waeber CEO, bluesign technologies
Phone: +41 71 272 2991


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