Retailers around the world are facing a backlash over cotton supplied from the Chinese region of Xinjiang, an area marred by reports of human rights violations. China produce a large percentage of the world’s cotton and most of their crops are grown in Xinjiang. Human rights groups say that Xinjiang’s Uighur muslim minority are being forced into labour.
Some of the Western world’s biggest brands are thought to source their cotton from Xinjiang, in the west of China. Two of Japan’s biggest retailers, Muji and Uniqlo have been hit with unwanted press recently after a report showed that the brands were using the Xinjiang-origin of their cotton products as a unique selling point in their advertisements. Brands such as, H&M, Esprit and Adidas have also been confirmed to be using cotton products from the region indirectly, according to an investigation conducted by the Wall Street Journal.