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How ethical is Converse?

The Good Shopping Guide gives Converse, a global fashion and sports brand based in the US, a low Ethical Eating. Unfortunately, this brand receives a low Good Shopping Guide Ethical Score in our Ethical Shoes & Trainers Ratings Table and has not yet met our minimum benchmark. This brand has several areas to improve upon before it would likely qualify for our Ethical Accreditation. Much of this brand’s poor Ethical Scores come from the business activity of its parent company, Nike.

When was Converse founded and who started Converse?

Converse was founded in 1908, in Massachusetts. The immediately recognisable Chuck Taylor Converse All-Star high-top shoe was popularised by a basketball player and Converse salesman, Chuck Taylor. This style of shoe is now one of the most popular sold by the brand. In 2003, Nike bought Converse.

Is Converse an ethical and sustainable brand? Are its shoes and trainers good for the Environment, for Animals and for People

Does Converse use sweatshops?

Unfortunately, Nike, the parent firm, is well known for its numerous violations of human rights. Here are only a few instances of Nike’s contentious business practices; there are too many to cover in this brief brand page essay.

Over 1 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minority ethnic groups in the far-western region have been rounded up, imprisoned, and forcedly indoctrinated by the Communist Party of China as part of their imprisonment campaign. A coalition of more than 180 human rights organisations is asking retailers and apparel manufacturers to stop enabling China’s government’s use of forced labour in the Uyghur Region. One company that coalition members hold accountable for not doing enough to recognise and cut relationships with forced labour connected to the Uyghur Region is Nike.

Several well-known brands have been connected to human rights breaches in the Xinjiang region of China, where Uyghur minorities are allegedly subjected to forced labour in “re-education” camps. The camps, or “vocational education centres,” as the Chinese government calls them, are reportedly necessary to tackle “terrorism” in Xinjiang and “ensure its smooth economic transition.”

Human rights campaigners and activists have called this treatment of the Uyghur people ‘genocide’, as the Chinese government detain and brainwash, forces sterilisations and treats this group with barbarism.

According to an ASPI investigation, 80,000 Uyghurs who had previously attended re-education camps had now been placed in factories all throughout China as part of its so-called “Xinjiang Aid” programme. The Haoyuanpeng Clothing Manufacturing Co., one of these so-called “Xinjiang Aid” firms, promotes strategic production alliances with Nike, adidas, and Puma as well as Fila.

Is Converse sustainable?

We anticipate Nike and its subsidiaries’ Environmental Report to be detailed and comprehensive, given the size of the company and its significant environmental effect. It is good news for ethical consumers! Nike’s goals include minimising overall waste while continuing to reduce waste from the shoe manufacturing process by completely eliminating landfill use by the end of the financial year (FY) 25. Nike also explains how it is assessing and attempting to attain these aims, which is another highlight of this report.

How can the Converse brand improve its Ethical Rating? 

The Good Shopping Guide’s score results from 15 ethical criteria in relation to Converse. To reach our Ethical Benchmark and qualify for our Ethical Accreditation, Converse has several issues to deal with, including its Human Rights and Animal Welfare violations.

Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Nuclear Power


  • Sustainable Materials


  • Fossil Fuels



  • Animal Welfare


  • Vegan Options



  • Armaments


  • Code of Conduct


  • Political Donations


  • Ethical Trading Schemes


  • Human Rights


  • Human Rights+



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Other Criticisms


  • Other Criticisms+


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