US ban on cotton from forced Uyghur labour comes into force | Uyghurs


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While fashion has historically been notoriously cagey about its supply chains, there is now a strong business case for full transparency. A recent report by the financial thinktank Planet Tracker said that implementing traceability “can improve net profit on average by 3%-7% for apparel companies”. And that is before any fashion stock has been impounded by border forces.

Because of General Data Protection Regulation, TrusTrace is not alerted if Xinjiang cotton is found in a brand’s supply chain. “Only the brand is informed,” said Ghosh. “They wouldn’t use a platform like this [if they’d be exposed].”

Blockchain technology is not without its problems, however. “If you’re relying on brand discretion to ratify their sourcing practices, then what’s the efficacy going to be?” asked Philippa Grogan of Eco-Age. “Also, blockchain technology is not regulated, so it creates a risk environment – the lack of regulatory oversight makes it vulnerable to market manipulation.”

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