Nike’s Sustainability Campaign is Heavy On Sentiment, Light on Sustainability

When it comes to developing groundbreaking performance technology and Internet-breaking ad campaigns, Nike remains peerless. When it comes to implementing sustainability initiatives, however, the brand is, according to Fashionista, not so great.

Following the Global Climate Strike, Nike “unveiled it’s ‘Move to Zero’ campaign, which… revolved around the idea that ‘if there is no planet, there is no sport.’” And given the international fervor generated by the strike and Our Last Great Hope — what-up Greta! — both the mission and the timing of the announcement make a lot of sense. The plan, however, doesn’t.

As Fashionista notes, a campaign called ”Move to Zero” might sound like it’s going for something quantifiable, but Nike, instead, explained that the name is meant to “refer” to their “journey towards zero carbon and zero waste,” but that no actual “gameplan and timeline” for completion is in place.

“It’s not really intended to be a target per se,” Nike’s Chief Sustainability Officer Noel Kinder told Fashionista. “It’s the vision that we want to throw out there like, ‘Hey, look, if we have this crazy dream and march toward it, then we can achieve it together.'”

Fashionista sums it up in a different way: “it’s a marketing campaign that repackages old commitments without offering new ones.”

Granted, Nike isn’t total shit in the sustainability space: as the story noted, they claimed to “divert 99% of all footwear manufacturing waste from landfills,” while also giving “one billion plastic bottles per year new life as yarns that become sports jerseys and Flyknit shoes.”

So, as the story says, “if you’re looking for industry leadership on climate action, other brands are more deserving of your attention. But if you’re looking for a great marketing campaign with well-designed graphics about how climate change is going to make snowboarding harder, Nike’s got you.”

You can read more about it at Fashionista.

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