Apter says that Eileen Fisher’s garments are not manufactured in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and do not obtain fabrics or yarns from the region, but it is unclear if any of the cotton fibers used are from Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Said.
“The two-year pandemic and the deteriorating political situation made it impossible to fully scrutinize what was happening in the field,” Apter said.
How the supply chain crisis unfolded
The pandemic caused the problem. Very complex and interconnected global supply chains are undergoing radical change.Many of the crises Dating back to the outbreak of Covid-19, It caused economic slowdowns, mass dismissals, and production outages. What happened next is:
The company discussed what to do.
“As you know, this farm may have been certified, but we have no way to audit independently. People are threatened. Auditors don’t want to work in the field anymore. It is impossible to actually do that, “said Apter. , Recall the discussion.
By 2021, she said Eileen Fisher had removed cotton fiber from the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region from the supply chain.
LLBean, a private outdoor retailer based in Maine, stopped sourcing from textile plants in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in 2020 and said in a statement in early 2021 that it had “completely withdrawn from the cotton production process.” I am.
“We are completely confident in the due diligence process that none of our products are made of Chinese cotton or use forced labor,” the company said.
The decision to withdraw from China by a small private company was easier than the large retailers that have pioneered a lucrative consumer market in China. For fast fashion companies like H & M and luxury brands like Burberry, which are also boycotted, the decision will ultimately be in China or elsewhere in the world.
“It’s very difficult for big companies,” said Michael Posner, chairman of the Fair Labor Association, a non-profit organization that works with companies like Apple to investigate the status of workers in supplier factories. rice field.