I’m seeing this come up more in the ethical clothing stuff that I follow (but admit to not giving it the effort and thought these people deserve). Avoiding the cotton sounds like a good first step, I will educate myself a bit and report back if I find more resources or useful steps.
I have been following the news (mostly the economist’s reporting) and have no idea what to do but have also been appalled. Avoiding cotton seems like a good step, though I buy so little new cotton it’s not likely to make a dent or significance.
I have seen a lot of muslimaid’s ads on YouTube for supporting the crisis but it doesn’t seem like that money is actually going towards anything on the ground because of the difficulty of reaching folks there and the paranoia of family who have gotten out.
The list of manufacturers of new clothes that are ignoring this is good. thanks for giving us some resources as well as posting information here, @Elle
I personally need to figure out how to make sure the fabric I’m buying is, if not 100% ethical, at least not UNethical. I don’t buy much new clothing but there are still ways I can make sure my own personal buying isn’t abhorrent. Or, try to.
ETA: I fully realize that improving my personal buying patterns do not make this situation better globally.
Received a mask in a care package from work that was made in China and 50% of it is cotton. Any advice on how to bring this up at work? I have zero fear of being reprimanded. Not only am I on my way out, but I will make waves anyway and have done.
One of my best ever Fulbright grantees spent several years in Xinjiang doing research on local music traditions and now works for the Uyghur Rights Project doing research and advocacy – she is an excellent source for reliable information and suggested action steps:
It depends on your style. I’d go just with education. “Hey, thanks for the package. It might be worth looking into this as an institution - 85% of chinese cotton appears to be made using forced labour (link)” maybe a blah blah about values, especially if there is a link you can enclose
This article mentions some responses from companies so far. The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) is a group that sources cotton for a lot of the cheaper places to buy kids clothing here, eg Target and Kmart, and is supposed to be more ethical but they have been sourcing this cotton. Remains to be seen if they pull out like they said.
There is also a component of the various tech firms who have been taking money for facial recognition etc. without thinking too hard about what it will be used for. I hope more of the employees of such organizations will push back as this becomes more obvious and they aren’t allowed to ostrich.
Also, this is why FU money is so important, to give people a buffer when it is time to speak up.
Lest anyone get the impression that the Trump/Pompeo administration was some kind of champion for the Uighurs, James Millward did a nice review of what they REALLY did (or more importantly didn’t do) over the past few years – 22 tweet thread, doesn’t seem to have been unrolled anywhere yet so linking to the first tweet: