Global brands find it hard to untangle themselves from Xinjiang cotton, Retail News, ET Retail

Davida Erdahl

Confronted with accusations that it was profiting from the pressured labor of Uyghur folks in the Chinese territory of Xinjiang, the H&M Team — the world’s next-largest apparel retailer — promised final yr to quit buying cotton from the area.

But final thirty day period, H&M confronted a new outcry, this time from Chinese people who seized on the company’s renouncement of the cotton as an assault on China. Social media loaded with offended demands for a boycott, urged on by the govt. Worldwide brands like H&M risked alienating a region of 1.four billion folks.

The furor underscored how global apparel brands relying on Chinese materials and factories now confront the mother of all conundrums — a conflict vastly extra complex than their now-familiar reputational crises around exploitative performing situations in lousy international locations.

If they are unsuccessful to purge Xinjiang cotton from their provide chains, the apparel organizations invite

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