H&M ends ties with Chinese yarn supplier due to accusations of 'forced labour'

WION Web Team Stockholm, Sweden Sep 16, 2020, 10.11 AM(IST)

File photo: H&M Photograph:( AFP )

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The decision came few weeks after the Trump administration banned imports of tomatoes, cotton, tomato paste, cotton yarn, textiles and apparel from China citing the same reasons

Swedish clothing brand H&M has put a stop to its relationship with their Chinese yarn producer following accusations of China indulging in "forced labour".

H&M distanced itself from the Chinese producer after the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) published a report claiming the fashion giant was one of the biggest beneficiaries from the forced labour.

China has been accused of forcing minorities and immigrants stuck in migration camps in the Xinjiang province of China. However, China has repeatedly declined these accusations calling these camps "vocational training centres" where they are teaching minority groups skills to help them uplift their lives. 

ASPI has accused the brand of benefitting from Huafu's factory in Anhui. However, to be on a safe side, the fashion brand has decided to stop all imports of cotton from Xinjiang province, stressing that the company never worked with an garment factories located in the area.

Also read: Trump administration to ban imports from China over forced labour

"While there are no indications for forced labour in the Shangyu mill, we have decided to, until we get more clarity around allegations of forced labour, phase out our indirect business relationship with Huafu Fashion Co, regardless of unit and province, within the next 12 months," H&M said in a statement.

The company assured that an inquiry has been conducted "at all the garment manufacturing factories we work with in China aiming to ensure that they are not employing workers... through what is reported on as labour transfer programmes or employment schemes where forced labour is an increased risk."

The decision came few weeks after the Trump administration banned imports of tomatoes, cotton, tomato paste, cotton yarn, textiles and apparel from China citing the same reasons.

China has slammed the US claiming that the accusations are politically motivated, especially with the upcoming US elections.