Business & Economy

Hugo Boss, Asics will continue buying Xinjiang cotton

Shanghai, China, Mar 26 (efe-epa).- Several international clothing brands, including Hugo Boss and Asics, have vowed to continue buying Xinjiang cotton after reports of alleged human rights abused led West countries to impose sanctions on China.

“Xinjiang’s long-stapled cotton is one of the best in the world. We believe top quality raw materials will definitely show its value,” German luxury fashion house Hugo Boss said in a statement posted on its official Weibo account on Thursday night.

“For many years, we have respected the one-China principle, resolutely defending national sovereign and territorial integrity. We have established long-term collaborations with many outstanding Chinese enterprises, and will continue to keep (the partnerships).”

In September 2020, American TV channel NBC quoted Hugo representatives, claiming that they had asked their suppliers to prove that their products did not come from Xinjiang.

Japanese sports brand Asics said in a Weibo statement its local supply chain in the Chinese market included cotton from Xinjiang.

Like Hugo Boss, it assured that it would continue to buy and support cotton from the restive region.

“Asics has always adhered to the one-China principle and resolutely defended (China’s) national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” it added.

China accounts for 10 percent of Hugo Boss’s global sales, making the country its “key priority.”

In the case of Asics, the figure stands at 12 percent.

Other global brands to issue statements on the matter included Fila, of Italian origin but now owned by South Korea.

Local manufacturer Anta Sports has been controlling its China operations since 2009.

“Fila China has been continuously purchasing and using cotton produced in areas, including Xinjiang,” said the company’s local division.

It announced its withdrawal from the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), the world’s largest cotton sustainability program, due to its decision to pull out of Xinjiang.

Several global companies have issued statements in recent months claiming that they did not use Xinjiang cotton amid allegations by Western countries about forced labor in camps in the region where, they say, Beijing oppresses Uighurs and other Muslim minorities.

On Thursday, following the imposition of mutual sanctions by the European Union and China, the Communist Youth League, the youth wing of China’s Communist Party, launched a campaign against clothing brands such as Sweden’s H&M.

The brand disappeared from the main e-commerce platforms of the country over a statement it made on Xinjiang cotton in September 2020. EFE-EPA


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