Fashion Supply Chains
On 24th April 2013 the eight-story Rana Plaza building outside Dhaka, Bangladesh, collapsed, killing more than 1,100 people and injuring thousands of others. In 2021 there is a 1 in 4 chance that a cotton t-shirt you purchase is tainted by forced labour. Around the world, exploitation and forced labour are rife in fashion supply chains. In the Xinjiang province of China, it’s been reported that more than a million Uyghurs have been forcibly detained in ‘re-education camps’. Harrowing reports of abuse, rape, and forced sterilization have emerged from the region. China is the third largest cotton producing country in the world, and Xinjiang Province provides the 84% of that cotton (20% of world’s cotton). According to Center for Global Policy’s new report, more than half a million people from ethnic minority groups in Xinjiang have been coerced into picking cotton, on a scale far greater than previously thought.
As we remember the 8th anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse on 24th April it is a good time to ask ourselves who made your clothes. The Baptist World Aid Ethical Fashion Guide is a very helpful resource for consumers wanting to make ethical fashion choices. Access a copy of the guide here.