Nike today announced a partnership with Swiss company bluesign technologies to broaden the supply of sustainable materials and chemistries for use in Nike products.
The partnership allows access to bluesign’s industry-leading assessment tools to Nike's materials suppliers at an unprecedented scale and pace. Prior to this, a brand would need to assess its supply chain factory by factory, which would require significant time and financial investment for an outsourced global supply chain such as Nike’s.
bluesign will provide Nike’s supply chain with two innovative tools — the bluesign® bluefinder and the bluesign® blueguide. With bluefinder, suppliers can access more sustainable textile preparations such as dye systems, detergents and other process chemicals. The tool also enables suppliers to effectively manage restricted substances and provides opportunities to increase water and energy efficiency. The blueguide gives Nike access to over 30,000 materials produced using chemicals from the bluefinder at facilities that have undergone rigorous assessment.
Nike, which in 2001 introduced a Restricted Substances List based on stringent worldwide legislation plus a number of voluntarily restricted substances, is encouraging textile manufacturers and chemical suppliers to eliminate hazardous substances and pursue non-hazardous alternatives.
“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,” says 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.”
Peter Waeber, CEO of bluesign technologies, credits Nike with challenging the company to evolve its business model to meet the scale necessary for working with a global 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.”
Nike’s relationship with bluesign allows the sportswear giant to put access to a set of positive chemistries in the hands of materials suppliers. Nike hopes this relationship will encourage other companies to collaborate in changing the way textiles are created.