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Forced labour is still widespread in the cotton industry of the Xinjiang region of China, despite Beijing's claims to the contrary, argues the first research on the subject that was recently published in a peer-reviewed journal. 

China's mass internment of Uyghur Muslims, and other ethnic minorities, in the Xinjiang region of China, may have "somewhat abated" but forced labour programmes have only intensified, according to Adrian Zenz, a leading expert on human rights abuses in the region.  Simon Glover reports. 

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  • Friday, 25 August 2023

    Purifying the textile waste stream Premium Article

    Using artificial intelligence to extract trims, zips and buttons to create clean textile feedstock, a Belgian company at the recent ITMA in Milan may have solved how to close the gap between textile sorting and recycling. Although precise global…
  • Monday, 21 August 2023

    Brave new world(ly) - Higg rebrand interview Premium Article

    "You can't use that," laughs James Schaffer, after tripping over 'Worldly' - the rebranded new name of the Higg technology company which runs the Higg Index suite of tools for the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) and is now branching out with new…
  • Monday, 21 August 2023

    The loops of textile circularity Premium Article

    Various debates have cynically unpicked the efforts of brands and retailers in a bid to disprove the viability of the concept of circularity, or more so to uncover the true motives behind these circular endeavours.Often these reports and articles…
  • Thursday, 17 August 2023

    How Shein and Temu ‘evade restrictions’ Premium Article

    WASHINGTON – US legislators are concerned that Chinese ultra-fast fashion retailers, like Shein and Temu, are out-flanking the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) which bans imports from Xinjiang on the assumption they are made with forced…
  • Friday, 04 August 2023

    Shedding the textile microfibre narrative Premium Article

    When it comes to fibre fragmentation, the existing narrative suggests that recycled polyester fabrics fair worse than those made with virgin polyester. However, Dr Kelly Sheridan, co-author of a recent report from the Microfibre Consortium (TMC),…
  • Wednesday, 02 August 2023

    Interview: Textile fibre pollution Premium Article

    Nearly two decades have elapsed since UK researchers published a seminal paper on tiny particles polluting the oceans. David Styles asks professor Richard Thompson OBE – a prize winning scientist in this field – how he reflects on the intervening…
  • Monday, 31 July 2023

    Time out for sustainable textile materials? Premium Article

    The elusive pursuit of sustainable new materials is unfolding at a pace more tortoise than hare, says Rogier van Mazijk, fund manager at the Textile Innovation Fund, who also believes that while numerous innovation categories have demonstrated…
  • Wednesday, 26 July 2023

    Eco-dyeing and finishing advances Premium Article

    Phil Patterson gives readers an insight into new innovations in printing, dyeing and general textile wet processing innovations seen at ITMA – where for him – one particular energy-saving idea was worth the time and expense of travelling to the…
  • Tuesday, 25 July 2023

    Focus on emerging technologies at ITMA Premium Article

    Start-Up Valley, a new feature at the 2023 ITMA trade show, featured 16 emerging companies hoping to scale new and game changing solutions and technologies. They included Dublin-based Tailr which is working on ways to harness the power of artificial…
  • Monday, 24 July 2023

    Many ITMA visitors miss out at Planet Textiles Premium Article

    Tens of thousands of ITMA visitors missed the opportunity to engage with key stakeholders on environmental issues in Milan – but they won’t be able to turn a deaf ear forever. ITMA 2023 was billed as the most sustainable ITMA event yet – if such an…
  • Monday, 26 June 2023

    Designing out the waste Premium Article

    The fashion industry is big, bold, and as messy as ever, but today it's having to face its critics over the harm that it continues to cause through its wasteful actions. However, can the industry re-design itself to re-define itself, and can it turn…
  • Tuesday, 20 June 2023

    Digital data exchange Premium Article

    The European Outdoor Group (EOG) and the German Federal Association of the German Sporting Goods Industry (BSI) have teamed up to launch the ‘Sustainability Data Exchange Project’, which aims to harmonise the exchange of product level sustainability…
  • Tuesday, 06 June 2023

    Q&A ... with Trove founder Andy Ruben Premium Article

    Andy Ruben, the founder and executive chairman of resale platform Trove, talks about why he left the retail giant Walmart to enter the resale space and gives readers a unique insight into what the future may hold for global resale as it continues to…
  • Friday, 02 June 2023

    Sew far, sew good Premium Article

    Funding new textile technologies requires more corporate interest if a repeat of the clean tech bubble burst of the late 2000s is to be avoided, argues Rogier van Mazijk, Fund Manager at Textile Innovation Fund. Over the last decade, numerous…
  • Wednesday, 31 May 2023

    Polymer biodegradation depends on local habitats Premium Article

    CHRISTCHURCH – In a conversation with textile technologist Colleen Ahalt-Eagle at the Performance Days trade show in Munich, she told Ecotextile News that her laboratory forensic work on synthetic fibre breakdown in New Zealand showed that existing,…
  • Caroline Priebe, LinkedIn
    Wednesday, 17 May 2023

    Sustainable fashion design Q & A with Caroline Priebe Premium Article

    Brooklyn-based Caroline Priebe is a US sustainable fashion designer with two decades of experience under her belt, so Tom Bithell caught up with her for a quick Q&A about her ideas on designing for true sustainability. Q: How is a garment…
  • Thursday, 27 April 2023

    Making climate adaptation a reality for farmers Premium Article

    Last summer’s floods in Pakistan displaced seven million people, caused a death toll of over 1,500 and damages of an estimated $30 billion, with only $5.6 billion covered by insurance. As just one instance of the increasing number of extreme weather…
  • Thursday, 20 April 2023

    Why biodegradability isn't always the answer Premium Article

    The promotion of biodegradation and biodegradability is being used to assuage consumer guilt associated with over-production and the ‘buy-use-dump model’ for both chemicals and clothing. There are three things that are clear about drawing…
  • Wednesday, 12 April 2023

    Surprise rise in garment exports from Myanmar Premium Article

    Amidst growing calls for fashion brands and retailers to consider pulling out of sourcing from Myanmar, World Bank figures reveal that garment exports from the country actually shot up for much of last year. Reports that exports of garments from…
  • Thursday, 06 April 2023

    Dye supplier concerns on skin sensitiser proposal Premium Article

    A proposal put to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) by Sweden and France in 2019 to restrict some skin sensitisers – with a decision expected to be presented to the EU commission shortly – is causing concern among some textile industry groups who…
  • Monday, 03 April 2023

    Lasers count microparticles in textile wastewater Premium Article

    New Nike-funded research proposes a new way to more accurately measure and control the amount of microparticles found in textile wastewater. The research hoped to address the problem of comparing microparticle data from different studies, due to a…
  • Friday, 24 February 2023

    Protein Evolution makes ‘good-as-new’ fibres Premium Article

    Protein Evolution has linked up with Stella McCartney to demonstrate the potential of its enzyme-based technology to recycle synthetics. US start-up Protein Evolution (PEI) is working with Stella McCartney in a bid to turn unused polyester and nylon…
  • Monday, 20 February 2023

    Grants aim to kickstart fashion decarbonisation Premium Article

    The Apparel Impact Institute Climate Solutions Portfolio (CSP) provides millions in grant funding for innovations and existing textile industry solutions that can demonstrate their power to reduce supply chain greenhouse gas emissions. It’s finally…
  • Thursday, 16 February 2023

    Murky supply chain links to forced labour in China Premium Article

     As professor of human rights and contemporary slavery at Sheffield Hallam University, Laura Murphy’s research shines a light on the murky supply chain lines linking major brands to forced labour in china. As an idealistic young girl, Laura Murphy…
  • Tuesday, 14 February 2023

    Textile industry considers WEF risks report Premium Article

    Some of the textile industry’s leading players, including Euratex, Global Fashion Agenda, Fairtrade Foundation, Canopy, Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Transformers Foundation, and the Better Cotton Initiative give us their views on a series of…
  • Monday, 16 January 2023

    Certified, circular …. and synthetic? Premium Article

    FRANKFURT – It’s often said that there is no ‘silver bullet’ to achieving a fully sustainable and circular textile industry, but OceanSafe, based in Bern, Switzerland, claims that it may have provided a conceivable route to just that. And with one…
  • Thursday, 12 January 2023

    A functioning 'functional unit'? Premium Article

    What is the 'functional unit' of a winter coat, or a pair of boots? The 'functional unit' is a central concept for lifecyle assessment (LCA) based tools. In the ongoing work on the European Union's (EU) PEFCR (Product Environmental Footprint…
  • Wednesday, 04 January 2023

    Cotton and textiles data debate rumbles on Premium Article

    Increasingly, in our industry, there has been a face-off between data optimists and data pessimists - those who believe we can get good, specific data to assess impacts and those who think that global averages are as good as it’s likely to get. This…
  • Thursday, 15 December 2022

    Time to stop recycling excuses on climate change? Premium Article

    The message from COP 27 was unequivocal – climate change is THE number 1 priority for mankind. In textiles, I’d agree that this is also a very high priority, but we also must take a holistic view and consider a basket of metrics to carry out our…
  • Wednesday, 14 December 2022

    Consumer watchdogs show way forward? Premium Article

    One of the most keenly-anticipated sessions at the recent annual meeting of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s (SAC) in Singapore brought together different sides of the ongoing controversy over the use of data from the Higg Index suite of tools on…
  • Wednesday, 07 December 2022

    Organic cotton production data 'suspicious' Premium Article

    GLOBAL - The Textile Exchange industry body's recent report on organic cotton contains "numerous anomalies that should raise suspicions", according to a senior figure in the industry. Terry Townsend, a former executive director of the International…
  • Wednesday, 30 November 2022

    Net tightens again on PFAS use in DWR fabrics Premium Article

    MUNICH – At ISPO here in Munich, talk of Bluesign technologies and the ZDHC aligning to no longer certify coatings, formulations and water and oil repellent textiles that use fluorine-based PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ from 2024, led to industry…
  • Tuesday, 25 October 2022

    Spotting opportunities amid an energy crisis Premium Article

    In areas of the world that are experiencing massive energy price shocks, there has probably never been a better time for textile dyers and finishers to justify investments in energy-saving measures, says Phil Patterson. But talk around ‘net zero’…
  • Monday, 17 October 2022

    Is textile sorting infrastructure lacking? Premium Article

    Earlier this year, textile recycling innovator Infinited Fiber Company (IFC) published a mid-way report of the New Cotton Project it started back in 2020. The EU-funded initiative was, to all intents and purposes, centred on IFC’s proprietary…
  • Sunday, 09 October 2022

    Brighter skies ahead for Vietnam? Premium Article

    Vietnam vies with Bangladesh for the title of the world's second biggest garment manufacturer after China. But with most of its factories reliant on coal-fired energy, it's also responsible for a big chunk of the industry's carbon footprint. With…
  • Saturday, 08 October 2022

    LCAs in sustainability data - ask the experts Premium Article

    Consumer watchdogs sent shockwaves through the fashion industry when they declared illegal the use of Higg Materials Sustainability Index (Higg MSI) data to guide consumers on environmental impact. At the heart of the concerns of the Norwegian…
  • Friday, 07 October 2022

    Completing the circle on cellulosic textiles Premium Article

    Just before the world went into lockdown, Fashion for Good estimated the investment needed in chemical recycling technologies to create man-made cellulosic fibres (MMCF) from more sustainable, 'next gen' sources at an eye-watering US$20 billion. To…
  • Wednesday, 21 September 2022

    Return of the Australian Cotton Conference Premium Article

    Sustainability was a major theme of the 2022 Australian Cotton Conference which last month returned after a four year hiatus due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Speakers at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, included Don Butler, of…
  • Thursday, 11 August 2022

    Shining a light on human rights abuses in Xinjiang Premium Article

    The Xinjiang Police Files attracted global attention when Adrian Zenz, a senior fellow at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, shared them with 14 major news organisations earlier this year. The result of a hacking attack on police…
  • Wednesday, 10 August 2022

    SAC and Higg leaders respond to critics Premium Article

    June was not a good month for the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) and the Higg Index suite of tools it has developed to monitor the social and environmental impacts of the fashion industry's global supply chain. The SAC found itself obliged to…
  • Tuesday, 09 August 2022

    Finding value in waste Premium Article

    On the return of the Future Fabrics Expo, a programme rich in diverse thinking coincided with the usual fabric displays. It was there that one panel discussion explored the vast potential of waste agriculture.
  • Tuesday, 02 August 2022

    Tracing solution eases sourcing concerns Premium Article

    In a quiet corner of rural North Yorkshire, Agroisolab UK is championing new technology which it believes has the potential to be a game changer in terms of tackling the textiles industry’s traceability problem. Whether or not fibres are what…
  • Thursday, 21 July 2022

    Whatever happened to Fairtrade cotton? Premium Article

    Fairtrade cotton promises to address both environmental and social challenges, yet it has often been overshadowed by other cotton standards despite Fairtrade having high consumer recognition by comparison. Now, with organic cotton seemingly in some…
  • Wednesday, 20 July 2022

    Meet the innovators turning CO2 into textiles Premium Article

    With fashion's carbon footprint recently estimated at roughly two per cent of the global total, turning greenhouse gases into textiles sounds like the holy grail in terms of reducing the industry's impact on climate change. However, a small but…
  • Tuesday, 28 June 2022

    New climate rules too hot for some? Premium Article

    Tough new proposals to force companies to disclose their climate-related risks to investors in the US have been described as the Biden administration's most significant action so far on climate change. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC),…
  • Monday, 27 June 2022

    International Accord to spread its wings? Premium Article

    When fashion companies and trade unions agreed to set up a new body to hold brands accountable for workplace safety in Bangladesh last year, it was always intended that it would seek to expand to other garment manufacturing countries. Joris…
  • Wednesday, 15 June 2022

    The rise of the ‘guiltwashers’ Premium Article

    At the beginning of this century, life in the world of textiles was simple but concerning. Production was growing, consumption was expanding, and globalisation was happening at an alarming pace, with almost all textiles made using conventional…
  • Wednesday, 13 April 2022

    New technology to digitise consumer wardrobes Premium Article

    Jack Ostrowski, the founder of sustainability solutions provider Yellow Octopus, has developed a new consumer-facing app and brand plug-in to spark drastic changes within the fashion sector. His concept, the Loop Digital Wardrobe, strives to…
  • Tuesday, 12 April 2022

    Breaking point for organic cotton integrity Premium Article

    “Everyone is looking for business, not integrity.” So says one of our sources within the organic cotton sector – an industry dominated by large platforms, and a place where some experts are afraid to speak out publicly for fear of losing their…
  • Friday, 04 March 2022

    Textiles sector leads Pakistan's net zero bid Premium Article

    Net Zero Pakistan, the country's drive towards net zero carbon emissions in industry - was intended to be cross-sector but so far 95 per cent of the signatories come from the textiles sector. Saleha Asif, CEO of the Pakistan Textile Council, argues…
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