For every apparel brand and retailer across the world, compliance and sustainability remain the most focussed area. However, despite all this, there are still several companies that are violating human rights. The latest instance is from China!
The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) in the US added to the Entity List 11 Chinese companies implicated in human right violations and abuses in the implementation of the China campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labour, involuntary collection of biometric data and genetic analyses targeted at Muslim minority groups from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
As far as textile and apparel companies are concerned, it also includes Hetian Taida Apparel Co. Ltd. Changji Esquel Textile Co. Ltd (CJE) and Nanjing Synergy Textiles Co. Ltd.
Esquel Group (Changji Esquel Textile) has issued a statement in this regard and said that it is deeply offended by the decision and is working with all relevant authorities to resolve the situation.
The company insisted that there is no evidence to support the allegations against them on the use of forced labour. “We set up CJE as a highly automated spinning mill back in 2009, employing skilled technicians who are paid at least 2-3 times the minimum wage level. A leading global audit firm who last came to CJE in 2019 confirmed we do not use forced labour, and over the years many international groups and customers have visited the site with positive reports,” the company said in a statement.
Hong Kong-based Esquel Group is among the top manufacturers of shirt in the world, and has factories in China, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.
On the other hand, Hetian Taida Apparel Co., Ltd. was earlier also found to indulge in bad practices. Two years ago, it was identified by the Associated Press as operating within an internment and forced labour camp in China’s Xinjiang province.