Nike increases use of sustainable textiles

Nike is looking to improve the sustainability of its supply chain. Here's how.
Written by Tyler Falk, Contributor

Nike, which was named the most innovative company of 2013, is about to live up to the hype, at least in the sustainability department.

The company announced a partnership with Swiss-based Bluesign Technologies that will help Nike improve its use of sustainable materials.

As you might imagine, Nike's supply chain is massive. It has more than 800 factories with hundreds of textile manufacturers supplying those factories in 50 countries. Building sustainability into that big of a supply chain isn't easy. Bluesign, a materials certification company, helps with that.

Using Bluesign's tools, Nike says suppliers can now more effectively manage restricted substances and keep them out of the manufacturing process for everything from dyes, detergents and other chemicals. Suppliers also have access to more sustainable materials.

Perviously, to get access to the data, Nike would have had to go through individual factory assessments. Which, Nike says, "would require significant investment and a number of years." That's no longer the case as Bluesign's data on sustainable materials are now available to Nike's materials suppliers. The tools are being rolled out across Nike's entire global supply chain.

And Nike thinks this could help bring about major change in the materials industry.

“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," said Hannah Jones, Nike's VP of Sustainable Business & Innovation. "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.”

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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