Nike and H&M Among Major Brands Accused of Unethically Sourced Cotton
At last count, China produced 28% of the world’s manufacturing output. The country is the single biggest sight of manufacturing in the world. It is also one of the world’s top cotton producers. However, it has recently come to light that international clothing brands such as Nike and H&M have been abusing chinese manufacturing.
H&M has been boycotted by e-commerce platforms and celebrities for allegedly committing serious human rights violations against the Uighur Muslim minority in the Xinjiang autonomous region of China. The nation has been accused of forcing hundreds of thousands of minorities, including the Uighurs into manual labor in the region’s cotton fields.
While China has denied such claims, international brands who source Chinese manufacturing have found themselves in hot water as well. Both brands insisted they did not source cotton from Xinjiang last year when word first began to spread of the mistreatment of laborers. However, these brands, among many others, are believed to have indirectly sourced material from the region as it is a key hub of China’s and the World’s cotton production.
The celebrity boycotts of the companies have spread awareness online of the egregious violations. It is a reminder of the importance of knowing exactly where your clothes are made and what they are made of.