Monday, June 20, 2022

Statement by Esquel Group regarding the inclusion of Changji Esquel Textile Co. Ltd. on the Entity List of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act

The decision to add Changji Esquel Textile Co. Ltd. to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) Entity List is both misguided and unjust. We morally oppose the use of forced labor, which is completely contrary to our principles and the business practices by which we have operated for more than 40 years.

Esquel is one of the few textile and apparel companies that is vertically integrated, enabling us to map our supply chain from end-to-end and ensure that we meet all international standards for our products and do not sell or export products that have been prohibited in specific jurisdictions. We have retained independent auditors to audit our facilities, and those audits have verified the integrity of our labor policies and practices across-the-board.

Since September 2020, Esquel has provided extensive information about our operations, independent third-party audits, traceability documentation, supply chain maps, and a variety of other documents to the U.S. Department of Commerce and other relevant agencies proving Esquel does not use forced or coerced labor.

In response, rather than to address any of these facts, the United States government has chosen to continue to rely on a handful of misleading anecdotal media mentions and poorly researched reports to justify its policy decisions.  This latest listing adds to the injury the U.S. government’s perfunctory fact-finding process has caused to thousands of innocent workers globally—from Sri Lanka to Mauritius to Malaysia—whose livelihoods have been destroyed as well as adding further costs and uncertainty for U.S. brands and consumers.   

We intend to continue engaging with the U.S. government to share the facts and clear Changji Esquel’s name.