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relates to Shein’s Cotton Tied to Chinese Region Accused of Forced Labor
Illustration: Angelica Alzona
Equality
The Big Take

Shein’s Cotton Tied to Chinese Region Accused of Forced Labor

Tests link retailer’s apparel to Xinjiang, where US officials say China abuses Uyghurs

A US attempt to ban imports of cotton linked to forced labor in China contains a loophole large enough for a multibillion-dollar business to pass through: clothing from Shein, the Chinese online retail giant and social-media phenomenon that ships fast-fashion apparel directly to consumers.

Laboratory testing conducted for Bloomberg News on two occasions this year found that garments shipped to the US by Shein were made with cotton from China’s Xinjiang region. The results bring new urgency to concerns about the retailer, which stars in endless TikTok “haul” videos with young customers showing off their purchases.