On Thursday, the Weibo social network , known as ” Chinese Twitter “, was filled with messages supporting the boycott of those foreign brands that have decided not to buy cotton from Xinjiang .
The campaign has started after the crossing of sanctions between China and various European Union for alleged human rights violations and forced labor that take place in this northwestern region of China. Xinjiang accounts for almost a fifth of world cotton production and supplies many of the world’s leading garment companies.
According to studies published by American and Australian institutes, at least one million Uighur Muslims have been interned in “camps” and some subjected to “forced labor”, especially in the cotton fields of the region. Various activists and human rights experts from the United Nations have also denounced the mass detention , torture , forced labor and sterilizations against these Muslims.
The Chinese authorities have denied these accusations and have stated that the actions taken have been to curb extremism in the region. The Government of the Asian country considers that these reports are full of ” false information ” and affirms that the “camps” are ” vocational training centers ” destined to employ the population to keep them away from extremism.
The indicated brands
The Communist Youth League has been in charge of starting this fight against H&M . The Swedish brand stopped using Xinjiang cotton in September 2020, but this has not prevented it from becoming the most attacked company .
Currently it is not possible to access the online store on the main e-commerce platforms in the country and its physical establishments have disappeared from the maps of Baidu and Didi, equivalents of Google and Uber in China.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry , textile and consumer organizations and more than thirty celebrities from the country also joined the campaign . In addition to H&M, other brands that signed a commitment to stop buying this cotton have been affected by it, such as Fast Retailing’s Nike , Burberry , Adidas , Puma and Uniqlo .
According to the Efe agency, for Nike sales in China account for 19% of its turnover . For its part, Adidas has fallen more than 6% in the stock market since the European Union (EU) imposed the sanctions.
Support for Xinjiang cotton
Who has not shared this position has been Hugo Boss . The brand considers the Asian giant to be a ” key priority ” since 10% of its sales come from China. That is why the company has joined the campaign: ” I support Xinjiang cotton .”
“Xinjiang cotton is one of the best in the world and we will continue to buy and support it, ” the German brand said on Weibo. Hugo Boss has also supported Chinese political decisions by insisting that they are aimed at “fighting separatist terrorism .”
The Japanese brand Asics has also released a similar statement in which it informed that it would continue to ” buy and support it ” and that it “firmly opposes” all ” defamation and rumor-spreading actions about China.” A 12% of its worldwide sales occur in China. Fila has also spoken , which has denied that it is going to stop buying this cotton.