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Poor performance of Sport and Outdoor brands

Recently, Rank a Brand updated its ranking for Sport & Outdoor brands. These brands have some of the greatest potential to appeal to people who prefer to buy environmentally and socially responsible brands. Generally, those of us who tend to make purchases from these sectors spend time outdoors, whether they’re hiking up a forest trail, kayaking down a whitewater river, biking across rugged terrain, or playing their favorite sport. The buying decisions Sport & Outdoor consumers make not only allow them to enjoy nature, but have an impact on the environment and nature as well.


For the Sport & Outdoor Clothing and Shoes sectors, we looked at how brands performed with respect to the use of environmentally preferred materials and the phase out of hazardous chemicals, including suspect chemicals and chromium used in leather tanning. Despite the fact that the brands from these sectors are geared towards people who appreciate the great outdoors, they all have room for improvement in regards to their sustainability initiatives.

Front Runners

Of all brands in the Sport & Outdoor sectors, none receive a grade higher than “C” (on its way towards sustainability, but can do better) on their sustainability initiatives on a scale from “A” (high sustainability efforts) to “E” (little to no efforts). While some brands are with respect to single policy measures indeed front runners in their industry, they aren”t yet able to convert its comparably better performance to even better ranking results – like scoring a “B” grade. Overall, Vaude received the highest score and is one point shy of a “B” grade. Vaude excels in its climate protection policies through the use of 100% renewable energy and is member of the Fair Wear Foundation, which shows the brand is serious about improving labor conditions in low wage countries. Other brands that receive a “C” grade are Puma, Pyua, Jack Wolfskin, and Patagonia. Of these, Pyua is a leader in the use of environmentally-preferred raw materials (97%).

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Overall, the Sport & Outdoor sectors exhibit a number of “lagging” brands, with many receiving a “D” grade (first milestones, could be better), while the majority receive an “E” grade (don’t buy). Well-known brands scoring a “D” grade include Adidas, Nike, Reebok, Helly Hansen, and Fjällräven. In the category of brands scoring an “E” grade, Oakley, Fila, Lonsdale, and Perry Sport stand out. 11 brands score a total of zero points. These brands are yet to implement sustainability initiatives, or disclose such initiatives on their websites.

Overall trends

The majority of Sport & Outdoor brands reported some sort of policy measure nbso online casino reviews to minimize, reduce, or compensate carbon emissions. However, across both sectors, only 5 of 63 brands (among which are Vaude and Adidas) have succeeded in reducing or compensating at least 10% of their carbon emissions in the past 5 years. The sectors struggle as a whole with environmentally preferred raw materials. Pyua leads in this regard, using such materials almost entirely. Only a few other brands (such as Vaude and Hanwag) clearly report a policy to use environmentally preferred materials for at least 5% of its total production.

Only two brands (Pyua and Fjällräven) clearly report to have eliminated at least one harmful chemical group from their global supply chains. Furthermore, among the typical outdoor- and sport shoe brands, only Nike, Puma and Brooks clearly deliver on the result that PVC is eliminated from its collection to at least more than 90%. In regards to labor conditions initiatives, 48 brands report implementation of a Code of Conduct to assure better working conditions for workers in low wage countries. However, only 8 ouf 63 brands report on clear results of its policy measures implemented in its supply chain on apparel manufacturing level, namely: Mammut, Nike, Jack Wolfskin, Vaude, Trigema, Deuter and Schöffel. Even worse are the results when it comes to presenting clear results further down the supply chain. Only only two out of 63 brands report on clear results of this policy measures in the fabric manufacturing stages, namely Puma and Jack Wolfskin. Finally, across both sectors, only Löffler realizes that at least 50% of its fabrics manufacturing takes place under good, respectively low-risk labour conditions, as its 70% of its fabrics are processed in its own production facility in Austria.

These trends in climate, environmental, and social responsibility indicate that the Sport & Outdoor Clothing and Shoes sectors are both at a starting point in terms of its collective sustainability efforts. As sectors with great potential to excel in the realm of sustainability, due to their outdoor-oriented consumers, perhaps greater strides will be seen from brands in both of these sectors in future ranking updates.

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You can see all the results of the ranking on the overview page of the Sport & Outdoor Clothing sector and the overview page of the Sport & Outdoor Clothing and Shoes sector. Please note that you will only see brands that are available in your country. If you select a brand you can see their score on each of our criteria, and a short explanation on how we have assessed this.

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If you enjoy the outdoors, please help us help Outdoor & Sport Clothing and Sport Shoes brands to be more sustainable!

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