Nike races ahead in sustainable materials & chemistriesApril 2013
Global sports brand Nike is accelerating the supply of more sustainable materials and chemistries through a new partnership with Switzerland’s Bluesign Technologies.
Bluesign will provide Nike’s supply chain with access to two tools - bluefinder and blueguide. 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 tool enables suppliers to effectively manage restricted substances and provides the opportunity to increase water and energy efficiency. The blueguide tool gives Nike access to 30,000+ materials produced using chemicals from facilities that have undergone rigorous assessment.
Previously, to access these tools and data, a brand would have to take its supply chain through individual factory assessments. For a company of Nike’s size, that would have taken a significant number of years and investment. The agreement involves opening up access to these tools to an expanded supplier base at nominal cost.
The tools will be rolled out across Nike’s supply chain, which spans more than 800 contracted factories.
Nike says that around 60% of the environmental impact of a pair of shoes is in the materials used. The company hopes that if it can encourage the materials industry to develop and supply more sustainable materials, the positive implications are potentially significant, both for Nike and for those communities where textiles are made and treated.
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