Chinese sportswear firm Anta Sports has started the process of quitting the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) and continue to use cotton produced from China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR). The move comes as Chinese state media and netizens are targeting Western retailers and backing domestic brands as the backlash around Xinjiang cotton intensifies.
Many are now calling for boycotts of other brands associated with BCI, whose members include Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Burberry, Puma, and Tommy Hilfiger.
The BCI suspended licensing of cotton from Xinjiang over human rights concerns.
“We have noticed the BCI’s statement. We are deeply concerned about the matter and is starting the process to exit the organization,” Chinese media reported quoting a statement from Anta Sports.
Anta Sports Products Ltd was the first sportswear company in China to become a member of BCI in mid-2019. Located in Geneva, BCI is an international non-profit organisation with a membership based on a ten-year history