Eco-Design: How Our Products Are Made

We have been designing sports and outdoor gear since 1986. For 40 years, Decathlon has led the way toward high-quality, low-cost products, but we also take pride in making sure our products are responsible for the planet.

Eco-Design: How Our Products Are Made

We’re here to tell you more about how we take our environmental impact into consideration when we design our products!

OUR COMMITMENTS IN ECO-DESIGN

It’s not only our goal to offer our customers high-performance sports and outdoor products, our design teams are committed to developing them with a more environmentally friendly approach. We call this eco-design.

THE ECO-DESIGN APPROACH

Eco-design consists of taking the environment into account from the first design stages and throughout the entire product's life cycle.

In practical terms, it's about thinking through how to make it possible to reduce a product’s impact on the environment during its whole lifespan.

A product conceived or redesigned through eco-design approach must still fulfill the same function as a non eco-designed product, while reducing its environmental impact: an eco-designed running t-shirt remains before everything else a good running t-shirt!

A PRODUCT'S LIFE CYCLE

We must take into consideration all the phases that a product goes through in its entire life cycle.

A product's life cycle

Raw materials: extraction and treatment

Production: manufacturing techniques

Transport: from production location to its distribution location

Distribution: sales location and mode

Use: usage, washing and maintenance

Extended life: repair, recycling, destruction


    OUR ECO-DESIGN CRITERIA

    Don’t just take our word for it. We must measure our eco-design impacts.

    Our design teams established a rigorous framework to define what qualifies as eco-design. The products that classify must meet at least one of these criteria:

    1. Reducing its environmental impact by at least 10% with the previous model for at least two of the following indicators: climate change, air pollution, water pollution and resource depletion.
    1. It must meet certain specific design endeavors like: at least 70% of the product weight made using recycled polyester, a fabric made with at least 90% organically grown cotton, less water-intensive dyes, etc.
    TAKING IT FURTHER

    Taking it further, we've made commitments on materials used in our products. By the end of 2022, all the polyester and cotton used will be more sustainably sourced. Currently, in 2019, it's already the case for 95% of cotton found in our products. But only 16.3% of the polyester we use in our products meet this goal: that is where our main challenge lies! 

    We are well aware that plenty remains to be done to reduce our environmental impact and we are determined to continue to act in support of change.

    Today, the main constraints can be found at the level of the evaluation of products and their materials, and more specifically regarding the choice of alternative materials. We have to be certain that a material replacing another has to be less impactful, less polluting. To achieve this, we rely on external studies and tests, which we have to guarantee the reliability and independence of the results.

    Our products must satisfy numerous qualitative and technical requirements. The alternatives are not always technologies that have yet reached maturity on the market. We use, for example, organic cotton for some of our products, whose farming provides lower yields. Consequently, the amount of cotton available on the market is less substantial than conventionally grown cotton. 

    Today, over 500 products developed with an eco-design approach are available in our stores and on our website. However, they only represent a small percentage of our product range. With Decathlon design teams understanding the challenges of climate change and resource depletion, their goal is to achieve 100% product development with an eco-design approach by 2026.

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