The adidas promise to OWN THE REALITY is an ambitious plan that brings our workers into the game. By adopting the binding Pay Your Workers agreement, we will set the industry standard for care of our supply-chain workers and stewardship of the environment.

In reality, agreements still need compliance. That’s why adidas is turning our entire management structure on its head. To truly OWN THE REALITY, we have appointed Cambodian garment worker and labour rights advocate Vay Ya Nak Phoan to be co-CEO alongside Bjorn Gulden. Phoan will be tasked with enforcing the company's ethical bottom line, and will have veto power over anything that compromises those goals.


adidas will now commit to:

END WAGE THEFT by paying all owed wages and severance that are outstanding in our supply chain, including over €11 million owed to Cambodian garment workers at eight supplier factories, and over €2.3 million in legally-owed severance to 1,020 workers at the Hulu Garments factory in Cambodia, among others. We will rectify the mistakes made during the onset of the pandemic by calculating payments that have been withheld per sourcing country and factory. This includes wages held back from workers during lockdowns and temporary factory closures.

PROTECT WORKERS RIGHTS by ensuring that our suppliers respect union rights and collective bargaining. For example, we will work with our supplier at the Pou Chen factory in Myanmar to reinstate the 17 workers, including union organisers, who want their jobs back after being fired for striking for higher wages and union rights. They will receive full back pay and we will ensure wages are significantly raised, in-line with worker demands, and that workers’ right to freedom of association is upheld. We commit to reinstating all eight workers who were fired for starting a union at the Trax Apparel factory in Cambodia, with 100% back pay. We promise to end union busting across all our suppliers and to engage directly with local unions because we recognise that unions are the voice of our workers, and that they deserve a seat at our table.

We will pay into the industry’s first global severance guarantee fund on an ongoing basis in order to insulate vulnerable workers. In the recent past, garment workers were most heavily impacted by supply chain shifts and the lack of robust national social protection systems in many production countries. We are committed to changing this and ensuring that workers aren’t forced to carry the bulk of risk for our business decisions. We commit to upholding the law and ensuring that workers receive the full money owed to them according to the laws of their nation. We will also work with governments to strengthen national social security systems in the countries we source from. Cases of severance theft have risen dramatically since the start of Covid-19, but pandemic-era adidas represents the mistakes of our past. We are here to do better.

We commit to paying a living wage throughout our supply chain. To do so we will work closely with suppliers to ensure that our purchasing practices do not undermine this goal, ring fencing money for workers’ wages, and we will pay more for our products to enable wages to rise.