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According to the complaint as detailed by the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE), NIKE Canada Corp. has relationships or supply chain links with Qingdao Taekwang Shoes Co. Ltd., Haoyuanpeng Clothing Manufacturing Co. Ltd., Esquel Textile Co. Ltd., Qingdao Jifa Group, Huafu Fashion Co. Ltd., and Texhong Textile Group, which are all allegedly linked to Uyghur forced labour in Xinjiang.

The report also asserts Nike Canada has not “taken any concrete steps to ensure beyond a reasonable doubt that forced labour is not implicated in their supply chain.”

Nike’s alleged suppliers as detailed by the report

Qingdao Taekwang Shoes Co. Ltd: It alleges that the factory employs Uyghur workers who attend classes in the evening for “vocational training” and “patriotic education”.

Haoyuanpeng Clothing Manufacturing Co. Ltd: According to the complaint, HYP exports Uyghur workers to its headquarters in the Chinese province of Anhui and uses them in their factory in Xinjiang. It alleges that the workers transferred to the Anhui headquarters were all “graduates” of the Jiashi County Secondary Vocational School, a facility which has operated as a “re-education” camp for Uyghur people since 2017.

Esquel Textile Co. Ltd: According to the complaint, Esquel Textile Co. Ltd. has been identified as using Uyghur forced labour.

Qingdao Jifa Group: The complaint alleges a link between Nike and Qingdao Jifa Group, an apparel manufacturer identified as using Uyghur forced labour.

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Huafu Fashion Co. Ltd: In particular, it alleges that the company owns a subsidiary in Xinjiang, purchases Xinjiang cotton, engages in state-sponsored labour transfers, and cooperates in labour transfers with the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC).

Texhong Textile Group: The report alleges that the company owns a subsidiary in Xinjiang, purchases Xinjiang cotton, engages in state-sponsored labour transfers, and purchases cotton from the XPCC.

Nike’s response

In its response to the ASPI report, Nike, Inc. stated that it does not source products from Xinjiang and has confirmed with its contract suppliers that they are not using textiles or spun yarn from the region. It made reference to the Nike Code of Conduct and Code Leadership Standards, which prohibit forced labour. According to the statement, Nike conducts “ongoing due diligence with its suppliers in China to identify and assess potential forced labour risks related to employment of Uyghurs, or other ethnic minorities from XUAR, in other parts of China”.

Nike says it has also strengthened audit protocols and has not found evidence of employment of Uyghurs, or other ethnic minorities from Xinjiang, elsewhere in its supply chain.

With regard to the relationships established in the ASPI report, Nike denies having relationships with three of the companies cited in the report (Haoyuanpeng Clothing Manufacturing Co. Ltd., Qingdao Jifa Group, and Esquel Textile Co. Ltd.).

With respect to the fourth, Qingdao Taekwang Shoes Co. Ltd., the statement from Nike asserts that the company no longer has any employees from Xinjiang at the facility. Finally, the statement confirms that Nike is working to pilot traceability approaches and outlines its collaboration with multi-stakeholder working groups and industry associations.”

Nike did, however, decline a meeting with CORE. CORE ruled Nike had “not provided a satisfactory response to all of the allegations in the complaint” and CORE will now proceed with an investigation through independent fact-finding.

Nike did not respond to request for comment from Just Style at the time of going to press.

Haoyuanpeng and Qingdao Taekwang Shoes could not be reached for comment.

While Texhong, Huafu and Qingdao Jifa group did not return request for comment, a spokesperson for Esquel Group told Just Style: “Esquel has never, and will never, use forced or coerced labour. We morally oppose the use of forced labour, which is completely contrary to our principles and the business practices by which we have operated for more than 40 years. We remain one of the few companies in the textile and apparel sector that is vertically integrated and able to provide our customers end-to-end traceability and extensive documentation on where they source their cotton.”