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WASHINGTON – The US Government has issued an advisory warning all businesses of the reputational, economic, and legal risks of having supply chain links to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang) and elsewhere in China.

The advisory said companies doing business in Xinjiang or with entities using Xinjiang labour face risks of association with human rights abuses, including forced labour, mass detention and forced sterilization.

The advisory has huge implications for the global apparel industry given the amount of cotton and apparel in global supply chains which has links with Xinjiang. A sizeable amount of organic cotton comes from the region. As Apparel Insider contributor Veronica Bates Kassatly recently pointed out, “15 per cent of what the sustainability sector regards as ‘Preferred Cotton’ was grown in China in 2018/19 – some 90 per cent of it in Xinjiang.”

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