RSN Releases To The Spinner Report

Cotton Spinners Are The Key Supply Chain Link to Slavery-Free Apparel

In the wake of the tragic deaths of over one thousand factory workers in Bangladesh, apparel companies are feeling a renewed urgency to eradicate human rights abuses from their value chains.

RSN’s new report  To the Spinner: Forging a Chain to Responsible Cotton Sourcing provides guidance for companies seeking to ensure their value chains are free of cotton picked with forced labor. This report provides detailed steps for brands which will allow them to move from “not knowingly sourcing” to “knowing and not sourcing” Uzbek cotton.

To the Spinner stresses not only the importance of brands forging relationships with spinning mills to determine the country of origin (COO) of the cotton found in their value chains, but also the necessity of brand commitment to establishing internal procedures and verification schemes to guarantee the elimination of cotton picked with forced or child labor.

In the fall of 2012 report co-author Valentina Gurney visited cotton spinning mills in China, Switzerland, and the United States to learn first-hand what steps responsible spinners are taking to eliminate Uzbek cotton. Those insights are included, along with a comparison of traceability tools currently available to brands.

To the Spinner follows From the Field: Travels of Uzbek Cotton Through the Value Chain, which describes the characteristics of Uzbek cotton, details the risks associated with this cotton, and outlines what brands can do to avoid it.

From yarn spinners to textile mills to sourcing agents, every supplier interviewed for this report demonstrated that it holds its customers’ values in high regard. As suppliers begin to answer the brand and consumer calls for transparency, accountability, and the protection of workers, we move closer to forging a responsible cotton value chain.