Thursday, June 20, 2024

European fashion industry faces scrutiny over Uyghur labor | Semafor

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A “substantial volume” of clothing coming into the European Union likely contains materials sourced from Uyghur forced labor, according to a new report.

Major brands including Zara and H&M are at “high risk” of sourcing material – particularly cotton – from forced labor, due to their connection with four major Chinese companies linked to state programs that mandate labor for Uyghurs detained in internment camps, the report from Uyghur Rights Monitor, Sheffield Hallam University, and the Uyghur Centre for Democracy and Human Rights alleges.

Global brands have come under fire in recent months for their ties to Xinjiang, with many launching audits to ensure there is no forced labor in their supply chains. Zara’s parent company told the Guardian it did not source material from forced labor, while H&M said it had “come far” in being more transparent about its supply chain.

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