Sportswear companies Lacoste and Adidas have agreed to “cease all activity with suppliers and subcontractors” following a global campaign pressuring brands to end ties with factories connected to forced labor, according to fashion media brand Glossy.
Started by the EU Parliament, the campaign calls out 83 companies named to be directly or indirectly benefiting from forced Uighur labor based on a March report by the Australia Strategic Policy Institute. An estimated 1 to 2 million Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking Muslim group based primarily in China’s Xinjiang province, have been subject to mass detention in Xinjiang and transfer to factories across China.
Other companies named by the ASPI, include Apple, Mercedes-Benz and a sweeping number of international fashion brands including Abercrombie & Fitch, Calvin Klein, Carter’s, Cerruti 1881, Fila, Gap, H&M, Jack & Jones, L.L.Bean, Nike, The North Face, Ralph Lauren, Puma, Skechers, Tommy Hilfiger, Uniqlo, Victoria’s Secret, Zara and Zegna.
“While many international brands now understand that doing business in China’s Xinjiang region means effectively endorsing human rights abuses there and have pulled out, our report revealed that the forced labor issue is not just confined to Xinjiang,” said Kelsey Munro, a senior analyst at ASPI. “Manufacturers across China are using at least tens, likely hundreds of thousands of Uighur workers under state-sponsored labor transfer programs, in conditions that appear in many cases to be forced labor.”
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