Brooks Sports, Inc., also known as Brooks Running, is an American company. They design and market high-performance men’s and women’s running shoes, clothing, and accessories. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Brooks products are available in 60 countries worldwide.
Brooks, founded in 1914, originally manufactured shoes for a broad range of sports. “White hot” in the mid-70s, the company faltered in the latter part of the decade. Filing for bankruptcy protection in 1981. In 2001, the product line was cut by more than 50%. Allowing them to focus the brand solely on running. Subsequently its concentration on performance technology was increased. Brooks Running became the top selling brand in the specialty running shoe market in 2011. Remaining so through 2017 with a 25% market share.
Brooks shoes have been named “Best Running Shoe” by publications including Runner’s World and Sports Illustrated. The company has been recognized for environmental sustainability programs and technical innovation.
Sustainability and Social Responsibility
The Brooks Running Responsibly Program measures sustainability based on five criteria: community, fair labor, product design and materials, manufacturing, and footprint. In 2014, the company partnered with Bluesign Technologies to evaluate, manage, and eliminate priority chemicals used in the process of manufacturing apparel. Consequently manufacturers that become Bluesign system partners are required to establish management systems for improving resource productivity, consumer safety, water emissions, air emissions, and occupational health and safety. Brooks is also a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, a global trade organization that works to reduce the environmental and social impact of apparel and footwear products. Hence wherever possible, Brooks uses recycled materials, including in its shoeboxes, laces fabrics, hangtags and packaging. With the exception of the Brooks Heritage collection, its products are vegan.
Built in 2014, the Brooks headquarters meet the environmental standards of Seattle’s “Deep Green” pilot program. The building captures and reuses at least 50 percent of storm water on the site and uses 75 percent less energy than a typical commercial building in the city. As a result as of 2016, it was “one of the greenest buildings in the world.”
Brooks provides paid time annually to employees to volunteer for community organizations. Among other causes, Brooks employees have supported Conservation NEXT’s Seattle Backyard Collective, Habitat for Humanity, Northwest Harvest, the Seattle Ronald McDonald House and the 2018 Special Olympic Games. “Run B’Cause” product donation grants are given annually to organizations that support a “healthier, Run Happier world.”
It was announced in June 2017 that Brooks Running would partner with the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games to create limited-edition co-branded running shoes and apparel, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the games, and provide free running shoes to athletes participating in the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes Fit Feet program, which offers athletes free podiatry screenings.
Check out our Brand in Focus: Brooks Moving Comfort blog.