Nike Discloses Factory Locations
By William McCall
AP Business Writer
Friday, Oct. 8, 1999; 6:29 p.m. EDT BEAVERTON, Ore. Pressured by university protests of sweatshop conditions, Nike has made public all the overseas and domestic factories that make T-shirts, hats and sweatshirts licensed by five major colleges.
"The kids really moved the process along," said Joel Seguine, spokesman for the University of Michigan, one of the five universities that add their logos to clothing with the Nike swoosh.
The list applies to clothing sold in student stores or as general merchandise, not to equipment for athletic teams, which is under separate license.
Beaverton-based Nike disclosed the factory sites Thursday on its Web site, www.nikebiz.com, listing addresses where clothing is made for Michigan, Arizona, Duke, Georgetown and North Carolina.
The Web site listed 41 factories in 11 countries, including China, Bangladesh, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico and Guatemala.
More than a dozen factories were in the United States, mostly in the South. "I'm sure that was a surprise to most people," said Vada Manager, Nike's director of manufacturing practices.
The listing was welcomed by officials at all the schools. Several noted that Nike had made the disclosure well in advance of a March deadline the universities had set.
Nike Chairman Phil Knight offered to disclose the factory sites last March if the colleges required disclosure from all licensed manufacturers, which the schools have done.
Activists fighting sweatshop labor practices were quick to praise Nike, saying it would put pressure on other major athletic apparel and equipment companies.
"It's smart of them and I hope other companies will follow them," said Dan Hennefeld, a spokesman for United Students Against Sweatshops, a student coalition that has pushed for labor reform.
© Copyright 1999 The Associated Press