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Forced labour in supply chains

How many companies benefit from China’s ‘tainted’ cotton?

China is forcing hundreds of thousands of Uighurs and other minorities into hard, manual labour in the vast cotton fields of its western region of Xinjiang, according to BBC reports. As a result, apparel companies are facing mounting pressure to withdraw from economic ties with the region, and certainly to stop buying cotton from there. Chloe Cranston of UK-based Anti-Slavery International lays out the case for why companies need to avoid Xinjiang. But as we’ll hear from Andrew Morgan of veteran thread supplier Coats, even though the moral imperative is there, the apparel industry is not completely unified in motivation for change. And we’ll hear from two companies, boutique fashion brand Eileen Fisher and global furniture mainstay IKEA, on their efforts to have an ethical supply chain.

Producer: Frey Lindsay

(Picture credit: Getty Images)

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18 minutes


  • Tue 12 Jan 2021 08:32GMT

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