LAUNDERING COTTON: How Xinjiang Cotton is Obscured in International Supply

Research shows Target, Walmart, Lululemon, Kohl’s, Anthropologie, C&A, and Uniqlo could be at risk of violating U.S. bans on cotton from Uyghur Region.

Prof. Laura T. Murphy and her team at Sheffield Hallam University’s Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice has published a groundbreaking study "LAUNDERING COTTON:How Xinjiang Cotton is Obscured in International Supply Chains" detailing global apparel brands’ risk of ties to cotton produced with Uyghur forced labour.

Based on international trade and customs data, the team conclude that at the same time as Xinjiang cotton has come to be associated with human rights abuses and to be considered high risk for international brands, China's cotton industry has benefited from an export strategy that obscures cotton's origin in the Uyghur Region.

For instance, researcher traced C&A supply chain from Xinjiang - Shenzhen - Indonesia and finally to stores in Europe.

Researcher have also identify linkage to Xinjiang in Target, Walmart, Lululemon, Kohl’s, Anthropologie (owned by Urban Outfitters), C&A, and Uniqlo's supply chains.

As evidence mounts implicating global apparel brands in the Chinese government’s human rights abuses against the Uyghur people, the Coalition is urging companies to sign the Call to Action—endorsed by over 400 organisations from 40 countries—which sets forth specific steps companies must take to ensure their supply chains are free from Uyghur forced labour.

The author agrees that we can provide Japanese and Korean translations of some extracts from the report for interested readers.