Global brands find it hard to untangle themselves from Xinjiang cotton

Confronted with accusations that it was profiting from the forced labor of Uyghur folks in the Chinese territory of Xinjiang, the H&M Group — the world’s next-premier clothes retailer — promised last yr to prevent purchasing cotton from the area.

But last month, H&M confronted a new outcry, this time from Chinese customers who seized on the company’s renouncement of the cotton as an assault on China. Social media stuffed with angry calls for for a boycott, urged on by the govt. Global makes like H&M risked alienating a region of 1.4 billion folks.

The furor underscored how international clothes makes relying on Chinese elements and factories now deal with the mom of all conundrums — a conflict vastly extra elaborate than their now-common reputational crises about exploitative doing the job disorders in poor international locations.

If they are unsuccessful to purge Xinjiang cotton from their supply chains, the clothing

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