How did you two become challengers of the
ABBY WAMBACH: The thing that led me into
activism is that I am a little different. I’m so
lucky for that. I always try to fight for the little
guy or the voiceless, because in certain parts
of my life I’m the minority, whether because
I’m gay or a woman. That’s where any true
activism is born—my heartbreaks. Find out
what breaks your heart and do whatever you
can to fix it.
HANNAH JONES: When I was 16, I had a white
Mohawk and I was a DJ on a pirate radio station that kept getting raided by police. Let’s just
say that my parents didn’t think that was an
entirely good career plan. But I had a mentor
who sat me down one day and said, “Hannah, at
some stage you’re going to have to work out for
yourself whether you are more powerful shouting at the system from the outside or changing
it from the inside.” That has guided everything
I’ve done ever since.
Athletics is a powerful platform for change.
It’s got a global reach, a workforce that spans
from the factory to the playing field, and
celebrity role models. How do these things
help you with your current efforts?
HJ: When I grew up in the U.K., girls didn’t
play soccer; we just didn’t. What Abby and
other women in sport are doing is telling girls
around the world, “You get to play soccer.” This
is the new normal. [At Nike,] we’re all about innovating the new normal. Leather has a really
big environmental footprint, but everybody
loves leather. So our [new Flyleather] shoes
and equal opportunity
are two of today’s most
pressing global issues.
Nike sustainability head
Hannah Jones and soccer
star Abby Wambach talk
with Fast Company’s Jill
Bernstein about how
and individuals alike
can bring meaningful
change to the world.
“A brand that
doesn’t stand for
Jones, “is no longer
a brand worth