Burberry Becomes the First Luxury Brand To Be Boycotted Over Xinjiang Cotton

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Britain’s Burberry has become the first apparel luxury brand to be boycotted by the Chinese Communist Party over concerns about human rights and the abandonment of Xinjiang cotton, with the announcement of the cutting of its Chinese brand’s celebrity spokesperson and the removal of its iconic checkered design from a video game.

Days after Britain announced sanctions against CCP officials and Chinese entities for human rights abuses in Xinjiang, CCP authorities announced counter-sanctions against a number of organizations and individuals in Britain on Friday (March 26).

Burberry is a member of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI). The international organization said in October last year that it was suspending certification of cotton feedstock for the 2020-2021 season in Xinjiang because of human rights concerns in the region and because it was becoming increasingly difficult to conduct credible due diligence.

Products and raw materials certified by BCI must meet certain standards in terms of environmental protection and labor rights protection. BCI members include H&M, Nike, Adidas and Japan’s Fast Retailing.

Chinese netizens have now spread the blame from the earliest H&M to other BCI member brands.

Chinese actress Zhou Dongyu said on Thursday that her agency terminated her contract to endorse the Burberry brand because Burberry did not clearly and publicly state its position on Xinjiang cotton.

The video game “Honor of Kings”, developed by Tencent Holdings Ltd, also said on its official microblog that it would remove the classic Burberry checkered pattern from the game’s characters.

Burberry China did not immediately respond to media requests for comment. According to Burberry’s official website, the cotton it uses comes from the United States, Australia, Turkey, India and Egypt.

The CCP’s Communist Youth League first took to its official Weibo account on Wednesday to slam H&M’s old statement issued last year to stop using Xinjiang cotton, followed by a new round of boycotts of foreign apparel brands – H&M, Adidas and Nike – from social and traditional media.

Activists and UN human rights experts accuse the CCP authorities of mass detention, torture, forced labor, and sterilization of Uighurs in Xinjiang. The Chinese Communist Party denies the allegations and says its actions in Xinjiang are to combat extremism.

In a letter to British lawmakers in November, Burberry said it had no operations in Xinjiang and did not work with any suppliers based there. It also added that it would not accept any form of modern slavery and would not accept the adoption of forced, bonded or involuntary prison labor by suppliers.

Source: Epoch Times

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