Nike on Wednesday denied the company was using any type of textiles or spun yarn from the Xinjiang Autonomous Region (XUAR), where China has been accused of holding Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in forced labor camps.
Nike, among other companies like Calvin Klein and Coca-Cola, was accused of outsourcing its labor for its textiles to these labor camps, according to a congressional report from last March. The company said it didn’t have relationships with certain manufacturers in China operating in the XUAR.
“While Nike does not directly source cotton, or other raw materials, traceability at the raw materials level is an area of ongoing focus,” Nike said. “We are working closely with our suppliers, industry associations, brands and other stakeholders to pilot traceability approaches and map material sources so we can have confidence the materials in our products are responsibly produced.
“Nike takes very seriously any reports about forced labor and we have been engaging with multi-stakeholder working groups to assess collective solutions that will help preserve the integrity of our global supply chains,” the company added. “We regularly provide insight and feedback at the request of policymakers on a wide range of public policy issues, including human rights and supply chain integrity, and have not lobbied against the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, or any other proposed forced labor legislation. We will continue to continue to collaborate with industry associations such as Retail Industry Leaders Association, American Apparel & Footwear Association, National Retail Federation and U.S. Fashion Industry Association as well as with industry experts, partners, stakeholders and other organizations to understand, evaluate and address this critical global issue.”
China has been accused by human rights groups of imprisoning more than 80,000 Uyghur Muslims and forcing them into labor and detention camps.
The Association of Uighurs in France accused Nike of “deceptive business practices” and concealing its work in the XUAR, according to Euro News.
After Nike’s denial, social media users in China were seen burning their Nike clothes.