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Xinjiang cotton ‘widespread’ despite US UFLPA legislation

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CertainT Isotope testing has found 19% of cotton samples showed evidence of a Xinjiang origin between February 2023 and March 2024 despite the enforcement of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA).

Rachel Lawler

Conducted by Applied DNA Sciences and Stratum Reservoir, the CertainT Report also found that 57% of the samples testing positive for Xinjiang cotton claimed to have a US origin. The next most-commonly claimed origin was Brazil (12%), followed by non-Xinjiang regions of China (11%) and Australia (9%).

Of the Xinjiang-positive samples, CertainT Report’s findings suggest that 66% of these items included Xinjiang cotton blended with cotton from its claimed origin. Around a third (34%) of the Xinjiang-positive samples were Xinjiang-only cotton.

The samples included a number of different imports – including yarn, fabric and finished products including apparel and footwear.

Under the rules of the US’ Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), no Xinxiang cotton should be entering the US. Currently, around 20% of the world’s cotton originates from China – and around 90% of this originates from the Xinjiang region.

Gherzi Textil Organization partner Robert P. Antoshak told Just Style exclusively: “What I found most striking in the CertainT report is the continued widespread use of Xinjiang cotton throughout the industry’s supply chain despite UFPLA legislation and efforts by US Customs to implement the provisions of the legislation.