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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

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How ethical is Nike?

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

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

We would have extra confidence in Nike 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 Nike do?

Nike is an American sports footwear and Activewear brand based in Oregon. Nike is the world’s largest supplier of athletic shoes and clothing, and a major manufacturer of sports equipment. It was founded in 1964 and is now a multi-billion dollar company.


In which areas does Nike perform poorly?

Despite Nike’s progress, there is still room for improvement. Nike was marked down under our criteria for Organic as its products are not 100% organic. It also scored poorly for Animal Welfare as it has been criticised for selling k-leather (kangaroo leather) in recent years.

Nike is the subject of an ongoing criticism levelled at them by garment workers in the global South regarding its alleged violation of IGO guidelines for responsible business conduct. Nike is accused of contributing to human rights impacts of workers at factories within its supply chain and therefore receives a bottom rating for our Human Rights criterion.

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

Past Criticisms of Nike’s record

Nike has recently been criticised in recent years for treatment of its supply chain workers and operation within regions where human rights abuses are known to occur. There is also a long-running sexual harassment and gender discrimination lawsuit against Nike which has so far produced over 5000 pages of records.

In which areas does Nike score well for its ethics?

Nike scores well for its robust Code of Conduct which follows international conventions. Nike has published a recent Impact Report containing clear targets for carbon emissions, recycling and waste. The report also contains evidence of progress, and so Nike achieves a good score for its Environmental Report.

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

How can Nike improve its ethical rating?

The below-benchmark score that Nike 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, Nike 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 Nike 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


  • Other Criticisms+


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