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JULICH - Traces of Xinjiang cotton have reportedly been found in garments made by German brands Adidas, Puma and Hugo Boss - despite all three publicly distancing themselves from the region because of forced labour allegations.

Researchers at the Agroisolab testing company in Jülich and the Hochschule Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences, both in Germany, said isotope analysis had found traces of Xinjiang cotton in Puma and Adidas T-shirts, and shirts by Hugo Boss.

“The isotopic fingerprints in the cotton are unambiguous and can be differentiated from cotton sourced from other countries and even other Chinese regions,” Markus Boner of Agroisolab told the German public broadcaster NDR’s investigative programme STRG_F, according to a report in The Guardian.

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