Update: According to the New York Times, Lacoste, along with Adidas, has pledged to stop using any suppliers from Xinjiang – See here for details.
According to the Financial Times, Lacoste is among a group of companies that is accused of buying from a Chinese vendor facing US sanctions for using forced labor from Xinjiang:
Western brands including Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brothers and Lacoste have recently taken apparel shipments from a Chinese group whose subsidiary is facing US sanctions over alleged forced labour in Xinjiang. Shipping records show one of the group’s companies dispatched large orders of men’s and women’s shirts, pullovers and jackets to big brands in the US as recently as last month.
Lacoste had not responded to this accusation at the time of publishing. See the Financial Times for more details.
Earlier in the year, we reported on Lacoste being accused of using forced Uighur labor in China to produce gloves. Now, according to Glossy, Lacoste has joined Adidas in pledging to removed all forced Uighur labor from their Chinese supply chain:
On June 27, Lacoste became the second brand, following Adidas, to “agree to cease all activity with suppliers and subcontractors” implicated in a recent report exposing forced Uighur labor. The campaign, which was started by EU Parliament member Raphaël Glucksmann, is directed at 83 companies named to be directly or indirectly benefiting from forced labor based on a March 2020 report by the Australian government-funded think tank, the Australia Strategic Policy Institute. An estimated 1 to 2 million Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking Muslim group based primarily in China’s Xinjiang province, have been subject to mass detention in Xinjiang. Recent reports have stated that Uighur women are being subjected to compulsory sterilizations, abortions and birth control, a practice which Uighur exile groups say falls under the UN definition of genocide.
Lacoste has used Youngor Textile Holdings as a supplier, and that company has been accused of using forced labor. Read more at Glossy.
Updated 03/05/2020 – More coverage:
New York Post – Lacoste Gloves Made in Chinese Internment Camp, Rights Group Claims.
ABC News – Lacoste Gloves Made in Chinese Internment Camp.
Update – The New York Times in now reporting that Lacoste gloves were made with forced Uighur labor. You can read more in the Time’s story.
Lacoste is on of the eighty-three brands called out for using slave labor in their Chinese factories by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), a non-partisan think tank. The ASPI has released a study entitled “Uighurs For Sale” reporting “that it had significant evidence of the Chinese communist regime shipping ethnic Uyghurs out of their native Xinjiang, or East Turkestan, to factories nationwide, where they endured long hours, barely received pay, and did not appear to be able to move freely.” According to the Australian Think Tank’s report:
“The Chinese government has facilitated the mass transfer of Uyghur and other ethnic minority citizens from the far west region of Xinjiang to factories across the country,” … “Under conditions that strongly suggest forced labour, Uyghurs are working in factories that are in the supply chains of at least 83 well-known global brands in the technology, clothing and automotive sectors, including Apple, BMW, Gap, Huawei, Nike, Samsung, Sony and Volkswagen.”
You can find the original study at the ASPI site or read more at Breitbart.