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Let's talk about sustainable development at DECATHLON

10 questions you may have

#1. Where do DECATHLON products come from?

Decathlon manufactures products in 43 countries around the world.

To offer technical products at prices and in volumes that make them accessible to the largest number of people, our suppliers and partners come from manufacturing areas spread out in different continents.

Map of France

#2. Does DECATLON manufacture products “made in france”?

In 2019, we worked with 34 suppliers, and manufacture 3% of our products totally or partially in France. 
We also have three manufacturing or assembly sites owned DECATHLON, at HOUCHES, at LILLE and Wattrelos in France, producing goods intended for climbing, cycling and footwear products.
Decathlon is also an international company that sells products all around the world. Just like “Made in France”, “Made in China” is important in the eyes of our 60 million Chinese users.

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#3. Why is plastic used to deliver goods in store?

Decathlon's goal is to achieve 95 % renewably sourced packaging by 2025.

Every day, deliveries in stores, certain goods arrive wrapped up, stuffed with paper, or packaged in different types of plastics. The packaging's purpose is to ensure the customer receive the product in perfect condition, even after having travelled hundreds and even thousands of miles to get to the store. A damaged product often actually finishes up being binned or is marked down!

But, is it really necessary to have so much plastic? Currently, 92 % of this packaging is made from renewable materials. The remaining 8% are hangers, plastic bags added by suppliers or bags for e-commerce orders delivery. We encourage our teams to keep and recycle the hanger: today only 65% is recovered for recycling or reuse. There is plenty of room for progress!

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#4. Who makes our products and in what conditions?

We work with 1,267 suppliers in 43 countries.

The standards and national regulations regarding health, safety, labour laws and environmental impacts are different in each of these countries.

In this context, we must ensure all our suppliers respect local regulations and international standards. That's why Decathloniens are recruited in manufacturing countries to conduct regular audits in the factories to ensure there is compliance with human rights, workers' health & safety and environmental standards, as well as preventing corruption.

#5. What is eco-design?

It's an approach aimed at reducing a product's environmental impact while preserving its benefits and user features.

How? Thanks to the use of renewable or recycled materials, making use of less polluting dyeing processes or product repair. In 2019, over 500 DECATHLON products benefited from an eco-design approach. It only represents 5.1 % of our product range.

81% of DECATHLON's impact on the environment comes from our products, starting from the extraction of raw materials right up to their end of life. That, subsequently, is where our responsibility really lies.

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#6. What happens to products returned to stores for exchange or because faulty?

At DECATHLON, you are either satisfied or satisfied: in store or on the website, our customers have the option to return their product if they are not fully satisfied with it. But what do we do with all these products? Product returns, due to a quality or safety issue, are transferred to our design teams, allowing them to analyse the source of the problem to solve it as soon as possible. When a product is returned new and in its original condition because of the wrong choice of size or model: we put it back in stock to be sold as new.

If product is returned used: we will resell this product second-hand after having inspected and/or repaired it. Our workshop technicians, by the way, have been playing a vital role in product repair for over 30 years! When a product is not suitable for resale, it can be given to an association or, as a last resort, will be binned. Each store is responsible for managing its product returns. It is compulsory to destroy Personal Protective Equipment (bike, ski, horse riding helmets...) after being returned so as not to compromise users' safety.However, we are working on initiatives to limit this destruction. #ZeroHelmetsDestroyed

In short, we are offering solutions in this area, but there is still lots to do!

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#7. Is sustainable development compatible with decathlon's business model?

Since 2018, DECATHLON's mission is to make the pleasures and benefits of sports sustainably accessible to the largest number of people. Our current business model has centred around providing appealing sports goods with technical features at the right price, making them accessible to the largest number of people.

We are conscious of the efforts we must make to develop a more sustainable model leading towards a circular economy. Still not the case today, even if some initiatives contribute to it, such as the Trocathlon, the sale of second-hand products, product hire, repairs, or the use of recycled materials in some of our products.
We are coordinating our efforts to reduce our CO2 emissions per product to reduce our carbon intensity.


#8. How are you integrating disabled workers at DECATHLON?

At the end of 2019, teammates with a disability represent 4.3% of decathlon's staff in france.

French law makes it compulsory for companies to have 6% disabled employees in their workforce. The issue of disability is nevertheless part of DECATHLON's Human Resource policy focusing on four areas: induction and training, recruitment, keeping employed and protected environments (disability-friendly employers…) coordinated by 320 mentors.

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#9. What is the DECATHLON foundation?

Since 2005, the foundation has supported 500 projects and 400, 000 beneficiaries.

Since 2005, the Foundation guides teammates wanting to get involved in social projects for vulnerable people, with sport as the vehicle to better health and integration in an environmentally friendly context.
Sport is a means of generating a positive social and local impact through social integration and access to education. The Foundation’s endeavours are led by teammates in all the countries where we are present thanks to sustainable, responsible and inclusive projects.

#10. How do we manage to sell a backpack at €3?

What makes DECATHLON unique is its ability to control its entire activity chain. We are a sports goods distributor and designer. Our teams subsequently work in design, close to manufacturing areas, in warehouses, on logistics flows all the way to DECATHLON stores. This particularity enables us, at each stage, to reduce costs to make our products accessible to the largest number of people.

Our NH100 backpack is today sold at 3 euros: we innovated by making it with just one seam, reducing this product's costs. One seam means just one manufacturing step, less fabric, and subsequently lower production and transport costs passed on to our customers through the purchase price..


Discover our commitments

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Our commitments to meet the challenge of climate change

We are taking into account the reality of climate change. We work every day at reducing our impact on the environment in all our companies activities. We invite you, on this page, to understand the challenge that climate change represents, and why we are taking action to limit it.

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It's because we design products that we can ecodesign them!

On top of offering you high-performance sports products, our design teams are committed to developing them with a more environmentally friendly approach. We make use of ecodesign to achieve this.