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The Xinjiang cotton controversy has taken to the catwalk

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The Xinjiang cotton controversy has taken to the catwalk
The Xinjiang cotton-gate impasse has taken another turn, this time on the catwalk, as Chinese designers are pledging its use in their collections. At the end of China Fashion Week in March, Chinese brand Sun-Bird’s creative director Zhou Li took a bow at the end of her show – demonstratively holding a bouquet of cotton plants.

Solidarity with China’s politics is a near given from of its population, as any dissidence is quickly quashed. Still, the issue of cotton originating from Xinjiang, a region where the Uighurs are suspected of gross inhumane treatment, of which the forced labour of cotton picking is but one, is yet to be corroborated by notable voice in China.

From politics to catwalk

What began as a human rights issue became political, then commercial (the likes of H&M and Nike distanced themselves from Xinjiang cotton in their supply chains) then retaliatory (Chinese celebrities echoed government sentiment and severed ties with Western brands, just as Western countries introduced sanctions). Now the issue has taken to the catwalk, with designers proudly confirming the use of local cotton.

When Zhou Li emphasises the exclusive use of Xinjiang cotton in her collections, the context adds an important additional voice in the Chinese revenge campaign against Western companies.

According to Reuters, Zhou is a “patriotic supporter of a boycott targeting several major western apparel brands in China that have expressed concern over alleged rights abuses in Xinjiang province.”

She said her garments on show last Tuesday, which featured slick minimalist designs with ruffles and ancient Chinese characters, used Xinjiang cotton exclusively. For our Chinese designs, I’m certainly right to support the Xinjiang people,” she said.

Burberry, Adidas, Nike and H&M are just some of the companies who have felt the wrath and quid pro quo of China’s political party, with the latter somewhat backtracking and offering a public apology. In its statement, H&M carefully refrained from using any names or direct references to Xinjiang, with the aim of diminishing any upset to a key market and upsetting its supply chain. For both sides of the issue, the apology fell flat.

Allegations are serious

Several countries, including the US, Canada and the Netherlands, have accused China of committing genocide, defined by international convention as the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group” said the BBC. In December 2020 research seen by the BBC showed up to half a million people were being forced to pick cotton. There is evidence new factories have been built within the grounds of the re-education camps.

Fashion and politics have often gone hand in hand, with fashion holding a a mirror to the zeitgeist of any one time or place. China’s reflection, however, shows a distorted view.

Image via Reutes; Article source: Reuters, BBC

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Video: Anne Barge SS22 collection

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Video: Anne Barge SS22 collection

In this video, fashion label Anne Barge has presented its SS22
collection at New York Bridal Fashion Week (NYFW).

Watch the video below.

Do you want to see more clothing collections? Click here to view the FashionUnited Marketplace.

Video: VRAI Magazine via YouTube

Photo credit: VRAI Magazine, YouTube

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Fila collaborates with Flock Together initiative on capsule

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Image: Fila x LN-CC x Flock Together
Image: Fila x LN-CC x Flock Together

Sportswear label Fila has unveiled a collaboration with birdwatching initiative Flock Together in the form of an apparel and footwear capsule, to be exclusively sold through LN-CC.

In a range of hike-wear gear made for urban exploring, the collection intends to bring people into nature and engage with their community. The selection includes a reinvented version of the Fila Trailblazer hiking shoe and two shearling fleece designs.

The colourways of the line are inspired by the Kingfisher bird, with a scannable near field communication (NFC) tag present in the hiking shoe that takes buyers to a dedicated page outlining the best places in the UK to spot a Kingfisher.

Image: Fila x LN-CC x Flock Together
Image: Fila x LN-CC x Flock Together

15 percent of all sales of the collection will go towards the Flock Together community fund.

Buying and creative director at LN-CC, Reece Crisp, expressed his enthusiasm over the collaboration in a release, stating: “We’re super excited for LN-CC to be part of this project.

“Flock Together encompasses everything that’s great about community and wellness, two driving forces that are integral to LN-CC too.

“Flock Together’s growth has been both a reaction to, and antidote from, a difficult eighteen months by bringing people together and encouraging outdoor consciousness, so we are honoured to share our platform in amplifying its much-needed positivity while working with Fila in creating this tribute to the Kingfisher.”

Flock Together, founded back in the 2020 covid-19 lockdowns, brings BIPOC together to engage in birdwatching and other nature-oriented activities.

It has previously partnered on an event with Timberland, hosting a range of spoken word presentations at the nature reserve, Woodbury Wetlands. Sponsored by the apparel label, the event aimed to promote the voices in its growing community adjacent to guiding guests through the nature reserve.

Image: Fila x LN-CC x Flock Together
Image: Fila x LN-CC x Flock Together
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Video: Jenny Yoo SS22 collection

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Video: Jenny Yoo SS22 collection

In this video, fashion label Jenny Yoo has presented its SS22 collection
at New York Bridal Fashion Week (NYFW).

Watch the video below.

Do you want to see more clothing collections? Click here to view the FashionUnited Marketplace.

Video: Jenny Yoo via YouTube

Photo credit: Jenny Yoo, YouTube

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