Plaintiff Maria Guadalupe Ellis filed the complaint with a Missouri federal court, claiming that Nike presents its products as sustainable or environmentally friendly despite its materials not living up to these statements.

Ellis is primarily targeting Nike’s use of recycled synthetic materials, marketed as “green” and in “an effort to increase profits and to gain an advantage over its lawfully acting competitors”.

The lawsuit cites the Federal Trade Commission’s Green Guides, which don’t have legal weight but are a guideline for companies to avoid misrepresenting the environmental benefits of products and services. Ellis asserts that Nike’s materials are not “sustainable and/or environmentally responsible materials” and that a limited number of the products actually contain recycled materials.

According to Ellis, the company is encouraging consumers to “buy more clothes or throw away garments sooner, in the belief they can be recycled in some magic machine”. She also claims harm on the basis that she purchased products based on the company’s sustainable marketing language and “would not have purchased the products at all or would have been willing to pay a substantially reduced price for [them] if she had known that they were not sustainable and made from sustainable and environmentally friendly materials”.

Under this price premium allegation, Ellis is also accusing Nike of violating the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act and is seeking certification of her proposed class action, injunctive relief and monetary damages.

Source: The Fashion Law