But… we love cotton!

We can still love cotton!

Following on from my previous post about the state-forced labour cotton system in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan (if you haven’t read it, please grab yourself a cuppa and take and extra 5! Here’s the link ), I fear many of you are trembling with guilt about your cotton obsession. Now don't get me wrong, I love cotton and you still can too. It’s purely about being aware of the current situation and knowing what we can do to avoid supporting the Uzbekistan & Turkmenistan state-forced labour system. Fortunately, there are many companies standing up against the issue and I have compiled a list of some well-known companies who have signed The Cotton Pledge. By signing The Cotton Pledge, companies are agreeing to work towards ensuring their supply chains are free from child and adult forced labour. The commitment ensures companies are not knowingly sourcing Uzbek cotton for any part of their product. Has your favourite brand signed The Cotton Pledge? For the full list of companies who have signed, see the link below.

Australian & New Zealand Brands

Alannah Hill, Black Pepper & Extra Pepper, Cotton On Group, Country Road, Cue, Dangerfield, David Jones, Dotti, Forever New, Glassons, Gorman, Hallenstein Brothers, Jacqui E, Jack London, Jag, Jay Jays , Jeanswest, Just Jeans, Kathmandu, Macpac, Metalicus, Mimco, Peter Alexander, Portmans, Rays Outdoors, Rebel Sports, Review, Saba, Sportscraft, Target Australia Pty Ltd, Trenery, Veronika Maine, Willow, Witchery, Yarra Trail

Global Brands

Adidas, Amart Sports, American Eagle Outfitters, Ann Taylor, Bershka, Converse, Columbia Sportswear Company, Calvin Klein, Costco Wholesale Corp, Disney, EILEEN FISHER, Forever 21, Gap Inc, H&M, Hurley, Ikea, Industrie Clothing Pty Ltd, J. Crew, Kate Spade & Jack Spade, lululemon athletica, Levi Strauss & Co, New Balance, Nike, Patagonia, Pottery Barn, Primark, Pull & Bear, PUMA, Reebok, UNIQLO, west elm, Zara, Zara Home

Designer Brands

Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Burberry, Gucci, Lacoste, Stella McCartney, Tommy Hilfiger, Yves Saint Laurent

Full list of companies who has signed the Cotton Pledge

Important things to remember when buying cotton.

  • Buy Certified Organic where possible and ask questions on the origin of the cotton.
  • Australian cotton is regarded as some of the best in the world! Go Australia! We have strict regulations that limit the use of unsafe chemicals throughout our crops and protect our farmers from slavery and unsafe working conditions.  If 100% of the cotton is Australian grown, know you are purchasing forced labour free cotton so go for gold.
  • If the cotton is conventional, untraceable, and not on the list of companies who have signed the pledge, whilst it’s practically impossible to tell the origin, there is a high chance the cotton in part or full has come from Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan forced labour, therefore best to avoid.
  • The more conversation surrounding forced labour within the cotton industry, the closer we get to a reality where shopping is always slavery free. Ask your favourite brand what they are doing to ensure their products are slavery free and if they source their cotton from Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan.

Here are some useful resources if you wish to learn more!

The Cotton Campaign: 

Make Fashion Traffik Free

Australian Cotton Facts

Here is a fab little video that explains the Uzbek cotton story in summary. It is in German but if you’ve read this far, you’ll certainly be able to tackle the subtitles, I promise.

Interesting read! World Bank funds linked to forced labour in Uzbekistan