Swedish clothing giant Hennes & Mauritz AB (H&M) has ended its relationship with a Chinese yarn producer over accusations of forced labor involving ethnic and religious minorities from China’s Xinjiang region.
The fashion retailer specified that it did not work with any garment factories in the region and that it would no longer source cotton from Xinjiang, which is China’s largest cotton-growing area.
A report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, published in March, accused H&M of benefitting from a forced labor transfer program through their relationship with the dyed yarn producer Huafu Fashion Co’s factory in Anhui Province.
However, H&M said it never had a relationship with the factory in Anhui, nor Huafu’s operations in Xinjiang It did concede that it has an indirect business relationship with one mill” in Shangyu in Zhejiang Province, belonging to Huafu. The company also said that it had conducted an inquiry at all the garment manufacturing factories it works with in China to ensure that they are not employing workers.