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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

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How ethical is Adidas?

Adidas is an Activewear brand owned by Adidas AG which has a below-benchmark score on The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Activewear Ratings Table.

Although Adidas has not yet met our ethical benchmark, we hope to see the brand make progress in the future.

We would have extra confidence in Adidas if it submitted itself to apply for Ethical Accreditation, whereby The Good Shopping Guide would make further detailed assessment and recommendations for ethical improvement.

Find out more about the ethical issues facing the Activewear sector and see how other brands score in our Ethical Activewear Ratings Table.


What does Adidas do?

Adidas is a German footwear and Activewear brand based in Bavaria. It is the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe, and second largest in the world after Nike. It was founded in 1924 by Adolf Dassler who was involved with the development of spiked running shoes for athletics.


In which areas does Adidas perform poorly?

Despite Adidas’s progress, there is still room for improvement. Adidas was marked down under our criteria for Organic as it does not have certification for its cotton despite claiming that it is from organic sources. It also gets a low score for Animal Welfare, as it still uses k-leather (kangaroo leather) in its products.

Adidas is also the subject of ongoing criticism regarding abuses against garment workers in Myanmar by companies by which Adidas is supplied. Therefore it receives a bottom rating for Human Rights.

Find out more about how we rate by exploring our ethical criteria.

Past Criticisms of Adidas’ record

Adidas has recently been criticised as one of the brands supplied by Sports City, the biggest employer in the Mactan Economic Zone (Philippines), which implemented a mass layoff of workers in 2022.

Adidas has had a number of Human Rights criticisms levelled at it in the past, mainly relating to poor working conditions and wages for its supply chain workers in India, Uganda, China and Cambodia.

In which areas does Adidas score well for its ethics?

Adidas scores well for its robust Code of Conduct which follows international conventions and addresses issues such as child labour. It also gains a high score in our Environmental Report criterion due to an informative Targets page on its website containing a number of clear targets for water, waste, emissions and clean energy.

We found no public record criticisms of Adidas relating to Nuclear or Fossil Fuels, so it scores well for these criteria.

How can Adidas improve its ethical rating?

The below-benchmark score that Adidas is awarded with on The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Activewear Ratings Table is the result of an evaluation of multiple ethical criteria.

To reach our minimum ethical benchmark and qualify for Ethical Accreditation, Adidas  has some issues to resolve, including its lack of organic certification and use of k-leather. If it applies for Ethical Accreditation, The Good Shopping Guide will be able to give Adidas some guidance to improve on these areas.

Were you aware that your brand could benefit from Ethical Accreditation? Brands accredited by The Good Shopping Guide can display our ethical mark, showcasing to consumers that it is an ethical and sustainable brand.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to attain Ethical Accreditation, please contact us or complete a Free Initial Assessment form.































Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Organic


  • Nuclear Power


  • Better Cotton Initiative


  • Fossil Fuels



  • Animal Welfare



  • Armaments


  • Code of Conduct


  • Political Donations


  • Ethical Trading Schemes


  • Human Rights


  • Human Rights+



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Other Criticisms


= GSG Top Rating = GSG Middle Rating = GSG Bottom Rating