German fashion house Hugo Boss assured its Chinese buyers on Thursday that it will continue to “purchase and support” Xinjiang cotton, a product of Chinese state-supported slave labor by Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities, extensive reporting has revealed.
“Xinjiang’s long-stapled cotton is one of the best in the world. We believe top-quality raw materials will definitely show its value [sic]. We will continue to purchase and support Xinjiang cotton,” a verified Hugo Boss account wrote in a statement posted to the Chinese social media platform Weibo on March 25.
A Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP) reporter reached out to Hugo Boss on Thursday for comment on its Weibo statement supporting Xinjiang cotton and received a contradictory response.
“[I]n an emailed response to HKFP, the brand linked to a statement on its website saying it has never used Xinjiang cotton: ‘So far, HUGO BOSS has not procured any goods originating in the Xinjiang region from direct suppliers,’” the luxury fashion house wrote on its official Western website.
“Hugo Boss did not respond to HKFP’s questions as to whether it is sending different messages to Chinese and Western customers,” the newspaper noted.