Adidas Reboots the Gazelle. Can I Wear them and Feel Good?

Image: Denzil McNeelance, Adidas Remixes '90s Kate Moss for Gazelle Reboot. Image: Denzil McNeelance, Adidas Remixes '90s Kate Moss for Gazelle Reboot.

By Staff | Women
Posted Jul 21, 2016

Last week, adidas relaunched the Gazelle, replete with a reboot of a retro campaign by Kate Moss. And the question many eco-fashion fans want to know is: can I wear adidas?

Good question. The adidas Group is a global brand in the sporting goods industry, with a large portfolio of footwear, apparel and hardware for sport and lifestyle around the core brands adidas, Reebok, TaylorMade and Reebok-CCM Hockey. Headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, the Group employs more than 55,000 people across the globe and generated sales of around € 17 billion in 2015.

At Magnifeco we suggest your moral compass drive your purchasing decisions and that the moral compass is led by one of three passions: people, planet or animals; human rights, environmental rights and/or animal rights.

Let’s start with the later – even though its namesake is the fastest herbivore on the planet, the Gazelle (shoe) is not (a herbivore). adidas does not make claims about supporting vegan design, but we’ve found a post on vegan kicks (from 2015) that stated,

we got in touch with Vickerey, a Colorado based shop that is vegan friendly and also sells Adidas.  They obtained written documentation from all the factories which they work with at Adidas stating that the products and adhesives do not contain any animal or animal derived products.

disclaimer: we cannot verify if this is true, even though we still see some adidas for sale on Vickerey (but to be clear – not the Gazelle).

Let’s move on to human rights. adidas has been in hot water at several points over the last few years and the brand has not publicly supported a living wage. However, when it comes to safety, all adidas Group supplier factories disclosed to the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety have been assessed for electrical, fire and building safety. And adidas Group launched a SMS Worker Hotline, at the end of 2012, and the program has been expanded to a total of fifty-eight factories across Indonesia, Cambodia and Vietnam, covering roughly 263,000 factory workers. NGO Clean Clothes campaign gives adidas a score of 5/10 for worker empowerment.

Lastly, their environmental efforts show promise. The most recent CSR report, evaluating their efforts from the cycle 2010-2015, reveals: the use of  virtual samples allowed the Group to save 2.4 million physical samples between 2011 and 2015. While initially aiming to certify five of the company’s sites globally, the adidas Group now has 13 sites with ISO 14001 certification. Plus the company has started to work with: Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC); Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC); bluesign® technologies; and Parley for the Oceans. And, the brand is committed to cotton.The company now sources 43% of all its cotton as Better Cotton and is well on track to source 100% of cotton across all product categories in all its brands as “sustainable cotton”. (Learn more about sustainable cotton here).

You can read their CSR report online as a PDF. Additional information about the Sustainability Strategy is available on the adidas Group website. Verdict? Not all of us can wear the reboot Gazelles, depending on values. Winner:  environmentalists.

What do you think, will you wear the Gazelles? Tell us on social #magnifecoIwillwear or #magnifecoIwontwear

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