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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

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New Balance

How ethical is New Balance?

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

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

We would have extra confidence in New Balance 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 New Balance do?

New Balance is a well known sports footwear and clothing brand, founded in 1906 and based in Boston, Massachusetts. It claims that the technical features of its footwear and broad selection of sizes differentiate it from other similar brands.


In which areas does New Balance perform poorly?

Despite New Balance’s progress, there is still room for improvement. New Balance was marked down under our criteria for Animal Welfare as, despite claiming that it doesn’t use exotic animal skins, it does sell k-leather (kangaroo leather) shoes. It also lacks Organic certification for its cotton materials.

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

Past Criticisms of New Balance’s record

New Balance 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, therefore receives a middle rating for our Human Rights criterion.


In which areas does New Balance score well for its ethics?

New Balance  scores well for its Environmental Report, as it has a Sustainability page containing clear targets for carbon emissions, renewable energy and waste. It also has a robust Code of Conduct which follows international conventions, so New Balance has a high score for this criterion,

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

How can New Balance improve its ethical rating?

The below-benchmark score that New Balance 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, New Balance 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 New Balance 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



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Other Criticisms


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