Researchers find traces of Xinjiang's cotton in top brands such as Adidas, Puma and Hugo Boss

Edited By: Vyomica Berry
Berlin, Germany Updated: May 06, 2022, 01:01 PM(IST)

File photo Photograph:( Reuters )

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It comes after German clothing companies vowed to change their supply chain policies owing to accusations of concentration camps and forced labour in the Chinese region

Traces of Xinjiang's cotton have been found by researchers in top brands such as Adidas, Puma, and Hugo Boss.

Scientists at the Agroisolab and Hochschule Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences tested shirts made by Hugo Boss and t-shirts made by Adidas and Puma and performed an isotopic analysis on them.

Markus Boner of Agroisolab told the German public broadcaster NDR’s investigative programme, “The isotopic fingerprints in the cotton are unambiguous and can be differentiated from cotton sourced from other countries and even other Chinese regions.” 

During the process of isotopic analysis, the geographic origin of organic or non-organic substances is traced.

Denying the accusation, Puma said ''we strongly insist on the fact and reconfirm that Puma does not source any cotton from the Xinjiang region. We do reiterate that we do not have any relations – direct or indirect - with any cotton supplier in the Xinjiang region.''

“Based on all the information we obtained through our investigations, and the traceability controls we put in place in our supply chain, we are confident that we do not source cotton from the Xinjiang region.”

Also read | Uyghur genocide: UN team arrives in China ahead of visit by human rights chief

Meanwhile, Addidas said it “sources cotton exclusively from other countries and takes a variety of measures to ensure fair and safe working conditions in its supply chain”.

It comes after German clothing companies vowed to change their supply chain policies owing to accusations of concentration camps and forced labour in the Chinese region.

China rejects accusations of abuse in Xinjiang, describing the camps as vocational centres designed to combat extremism.

Cotton imports from the Xinjiang region were banned by the United States after the UN said that 1 million Uyghurs have been held in mass detention.

(With inputs from agencies)

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