New Balance

Rated: Not good enough

price: $$$$

location: United States

New Balance is not taking adequate steps to ensure payment of a living wage for its workers.

New Balance sustainability rating


3 out of 5


3 out of 5


2 out of 5

Overall rating: Not good enough

Our ratings are based on a scale from 1 (We avoid) to 5 (Great) How we rate

Our “Planet” rating evaluates brands based on the environmental policies in their supply chains, from carbon emissions and wastewater to business models and product circularity. Here we rate New Balance “It's a Start”. These are a few issues influencing its score:

  • It uses few lower-impact materials.
  • It’s set a target to eliminate hazardous chemicals by 2025 and claims it’s on track.
  • There’s no evidence it’s taking actions to protect biodiversity in its supply chain.
  • There’s no evidence it’s taking meaningful action to reduce water use.

Workers’ rights are central to our “People” rating, which assess brands’ policies and practices on everything from child labour to living wages and gender equality. Here we rate New Balance “It's a Start”. These are a few issues influencing its score:

  • Its social auditing program covering its entire final production stage is accredited by the Fair Labor Association (FLA).
  • It received a score of 41-50% in the 2022 Fashion Transparency Index.
  • There’s no evidence it implements practices to support diversity and inclusion in its supply chain.
  • It claims to have a program to improve wages but there’s no evidence it ensures its workers are paid living wages in most of its supply chain.
  • During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, it disclosed some policies to protect workers in its supply chain from the virus.

Brands’ animal welfare policies and, where applicable, how well they trace their animal-derived products are the focus of our “Animals” rating. Here we rate New Balance “Not Good Enough”. These are a few issues influencing its score:

  • There’s no evidence it has an animal welfare policy.
  • It appears to use leather, wool, down, and exotic animal hair.
  • It doesn’t appear to use fur, angora, or exotic animal skin.
  • There’s no evidence it traces any animal-derived materials to the first production stage.

Based on all publicly available information we’ve reviewed, we rate New Balance “Not Good Enough” overall.

Last updated March 2023