Nike isn't the biggest sportswear company only because of hyped up releases and high-profile athletes. The company's approach to being good to the environment has proven to be good for business. According to a Morgan Stanley report published by QZ, Nike was named the most sustainable clothing and shoe brand, over companies such as VF Corp (which owns The North Face, Wrangler, and Vans), and Hanes. 

With an index score of 280 out of 300, Nike place much higher than Under Armour at 115, which was last on the list. Adidas did not rank on the list.

Sustainability refers to how environmentally sound a company is and Nike has taken a huge initiative to keep track of its footprint. Despite bad publicity in the past for poor working conditions in Nike factories, the company is making efforts to have a more positive public perception. 

“Nike leads because it not only has the most extensive disclosure, but also has concrete quantified plans to improve in key ESG areas such as environmental and social,” the report says. “For example, Nike has the most extensive disclosures on water usage, waste creation, and factory and community engagement, plus plans to improve on each key performance indicator (KPI) within those areas.” 

This is big because Nike isn't just the most sustainable clothing brand, but the biggest in the U.S., too.

Although adidas debuted its prototype Boost sneaker made out of reclaimed ocean waste in collaboration with Parley, it might be time for them to step up if they want to compete with Nike.