As we reach fever pitch on the eve of the World Cup, football fans everywhere have an early reason to celebrate – adidas has today taken a big step towards kicking hazardous chemicals out of the beautiful game. Almost a year since we revealed the brand’s lack of Detox action, the official Cup sponsor has finally moved back onside.

Back in 2011, adidas was ahead of the pack – one of the first global names to commit to rid its products of hazardous chemicals. But unfortunately the brand missed the target – setting no milestones and making no meaningful progress. Following the release of our latest investigation into World Cup products and after three weeks of people powered pressure, adidas has agreed to clean up its act.


17 June 2014

'Detox Football' Protest against Adidas in Mexico © Alonso Crespo / Greenpeace


Working with Greenpeace, adidas has laid out milestones towards its goal to be toxic-free by 2020. The brand has agreed to phase out 99% of all polyflourinated chemicals (PFCs) by the end of 2017, building up to 100% by 2020. These chemicals are used to make shoes, swimsuits, outdoor gear and clothing water and stain resistant. However, the bad news is that these dangerous substances are polluting our rivers and lakes while some of them can even impact on human reproduction systems. Adidas’ agreement to ban the whole group of PFCs sends an incredibly strong signal to other sports and outdoor brands that are heavy users of these chemicals: another way is possible. Detox.

The brand has also agreed a clear way forward to ensure it gives the public their Right-to-Know about the chemicals being released into our rivers – publishing data from 80% of its supply chain by mid-2016, building to full supply chain transparency by 2020.
Once more, people power played a crucial role in making this happen. The Detox movement is growing, uniting football fans, parents and fashionistas, all brought together by one vision: a future free of hazardous chemicals. Thousands sent letters calling on adidas CEO Herbert Hainer to Detox Football. Volunteers held protests in 30 cities around the world and hundreds joined a giant #DetoxWave for change.

adidas listened and got back on the right track for Detox.

This really is a huge step forward for the industry. It is also a reason to celebrate on behalf of those communities who need brands like adidas to take urgent action and help clean up our rivers and waterways. For adidas' customers this is also great news. With these critical milestones the brand can ensure the boots, shirts and jackets that we buy and wear are free from these dangerous, polluting substances. Together we are convincing brands to clean up our clothes and today we have taken one more step towards a toxic-free future.

The spotlight is now on adidas' competitors Nike and Puma. If adidas can do it, what are they waiting for? It's time for them to stop holding back progress and get off the bench to join the ranks of brands acting now to clean up our future.

Take action

Thank you to everyone that supported the campaign and took action with us. Today we can celebrate together.

Help us spread the good news and congratulate adidas for acting to Detox our future.

 - Great news! @adidas listens to #PeoplePower and agrees to come clean. Thanks @adidas! #Detox 

Dr. Kirsten Brodde is a Detox Campaigner at Greenpeace Mexico. She also tweets @kbrodde.