Adidas is upping its socially responsible credentials in Bangladesh.

This story first appeared in the November 16, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The Herzogenaurach, Germany-based activewear firm said Friday it plans to launch a pilot project next year to produce sneakers for the poor in Bangladesh based on Nobel Peace Prize winner professor Muhammad Yunus’ “social business model.”

“The objective of a social business according to Professor Yunus is solely tackling social issues through entrepreneurial actions, not maximizing profit,” Adidas said. “Nevertheless, social businesses do work in an economically sustainable way. Anticipated profits are not paid out as dividends but are reinvested in the social business.”

Under a similar model, Adidas will set up production and distribution units in order to offer footwear that provides protection against widespread infections at an affordable price for the poor.

Specifics such as the location of the production site and the price of the shoes are still being finalized, Adidas said.

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