Nike Accused of False Sustainability Claims in New Class Action Lawsuit

(Lead image via Nike/Brian Metcalf/Nemanja Jehlicka)

Back in 2019, Nike launched its new “Move-to-Zero” series, an initiative aiming for zero waste and zero carbon emissions through innovative sustainable technology — at least that’s what the Swoosh claims, but a new lawsuit filed by Maria Guadalupe Ellis claims different.

A new report from The Fashion Law reveals that the lawsuit filed by Maria Guadalupe Ellis accuses Nike of misleading consumers by promoting its products as environmentally friendly, while failing to actually live up to sustainable standards.

The lawsuit, which was filed in Missouri Federal Court, lists specific instances where Nike’s sustainability claims have been questioned, such as its use of recycled materials and carbon reduction claims, as well as its claims of improved labor practices.

In the proposed class action complaint Ellis claims that “consumers seek, and will pay a premium for, products that are responsibly made, including products that will not negatively affect the environment.”

Ellis continues in the complaint claiming Nike of greenwashing their products and “deceptively claiming that their [products] are sustainable.” According to Class Action, the lawsuit claims that of the 2,452 “sustainable” products that Nike offers, only 239 were made with recycled materials.

The lawsuit also raises brows at Nike’s carbon reduction claims as the plaintiff argues that Nike’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint are unsatisfactory. The plaintiff claims that Nike has not taken any serious measures to remedy the environmental impact of its manufacturing and supply chain operations.

Furthermore, the plaintiff accuses Nike of violating the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act, which generally prohibits deceptive advertising practices; unjust enrichment; negligent misrepresentation; and fraud, and is seeking certification of her proposed class action (to include other individuals who purchased “sustainable” Nike products during the applicable statute of limitations period), as well as injunctive relief and monetary damages, per The Fashion Law.

This lawsuit comes at a time where sustainability is more critical than ever, as well as trendy. The Nike Move-to-Zero series is one of Nike’s many sustainability initiatives and is still an ongoing project, with silhouettes like the Nike Dunk Low Disrupt 2 and the Nike Air Max 90 Terrascape being offsprings of the series.

If the lawsuit is successful, Nike may face significant legal and financial consequences, and is sure to suffer some credibility damages as well.

Nice Kicks will continue to update this story as the case develops. For more sneaker news and release dates, follow @NiceKicks on Instagram.

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