Press Hits


March 29, 2019-YESS Addresses Forced Labor in Cotton Supply Chain-Inside Outdoor Magazine

Thus far, 77 supporters have signed a YESS statement expressing their commitment toward ethical and sustainable cotton and yarn sourcing, confirming their support of the development and implementation of the YESS initiative, and encouraging their peers to join them. Supporters include: adidas, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Hudson’s Bay, HUGO BOSS, Tesco, and others.

March 22, 2019-Introducing YESS: Yarn Ethically & Sustainably Sourced Standard-Freedom United News

VF Corporation is one company that has already signed on to YESS. “Spinning mills are the gatekeepers in the cotton supply chain,” said manager of responsible materials and traceability at VF Corp, Shanel Orton. “VF understands the value of taking an industry-wide approach in YESS.”

March 21, 2019- New Guidance Tackles Forced Labor in Cotton Sourcing- Just Style

The YESS standard is a specific and practical framework that assesses the operations and sourcing procedures of cotton yarn spinners.

March 20, 2019-YESS Aims to Eliminate Modern Slavery in Cotton Sourcing-Souring Journal

The YESS Standard is a detailed framework that assess the operations and sourcing procedures of cotton yarn spinning mills. It is meant to be a guide for spinners to avoid purchasing cotton that has a high production risk of forced labor.

February 15, 2019- Cotton Campaign Meets with Senior Uzbek Officials in Washington—Parties Agree to Intensify Dialogue on Ending Forced Labor- Cotton Campaign

“A key point of discussion during the strategy meetings was the Uzbek Cotton Pledge, a commitment from 310 apparel brands to not “knowingly source” cotton from Uzbekistan until it is no longer produced with government-organized forced labor. The Pledge will remain in place with the support of the private sector signatories until the Campaign sees that systemic forced labor has verifiably ended, structural reforms are sufficiently advanced to prevent it from returning, and civil society is enabled to monitor and report.”

January 28, 2019- The Mining Industry's Global Impact-PRI’s the World

From environmental damage to fueling conflict, the mining industry has left a trail of tangled impacts around the world. Host Marco Werman speaks with Responsible Sourcing Network's founder Patricia Jurewicz.

December 17, 2018- Uzbekistan Aims to End Forced Labor in Cotton Fields-Wall Street Journal

“The appearance of progress has made some companies who have signed the Cotton Campaign’s boycott wonder aloud whether it is time to lift it, the NGO has said, though it is unclear when they might return to Uzbekistan.

“Brands know that their reputation is on the line with their investors and consumers, and so they’re not going to go in easily,” said Patricia Jurewicz of the Responsible Sourcing Network, which hosts the pledge.”

September 10, 2018- Forced labor down in spring cotton work, systemic problems remain-Cotton Campaign

“A decade of international pressure from governments, companies, civil society and others has been successful in motivating the Uzbek government to acknowledge the problem and begin to initiate reforms,” said Patricia Jurewicz, founder and vice president of the Responsible Sourcing Network. “Close, independent monitoring of the 2018 harvest is needed to see how far the government’s commitments have actually contributed to ending forced labor in Uzbek cotton production, and what actions still need to occur.”

July 23, 2018-Fashion identified as one of five key industries implicated in modern slavery-Vogue

“In 2017, pressure from the Walk Free Foundation resulted in Zara’s parent company Inditex joining the likes of Gucci and Levi’s as signatories to the Responsible Sourcing Network’s cotton pledge that boycotts unethical Uzbek cotton.”

June 1, 2018 – Apparel brands take a closer look at sourcing after cotton ban  Supply Chain Dive

While direct trade between the U.S. and Turkmenistan is relatively small ($13.8 million imports in 2017), the Central Asian country exports cotton to Turkey, Pakistan, India and China. Apparel brands producing garments from those nations will need to pay attention to their cotton sources, Patricia Jurewicz, director of the Responsible Sourcing Network, told Supply Chain Dive. 

May 24, 2018 – U.S. bans imports of slave-picked cotton from Turkmenistan – Thomson Reuters Foundation

“CBP’s ban means retailers and brands need to move quickly to identify and eliminate Turkmen cotton from their supply chains,” said Patricia Jurewicz, a co-founder of the Cotton Campaign, a global coalition aimed at ending child and forced labor in cotton production.

March 16, 2017 – Forced labour still picks Uzbek’s cottonInnovation Forum 

Patricia Jurewicz is director of Responsible Sourcing Network, which hosts the Cotton Pledge, a commitment to not knowingly source Uzbek cotton harvested by forced labour. She says it doesn’t matter if the person being pulled out of school or work is over or under 15 years old. “Any type of forced labour is still modern slavery. If the workers are not voluntarily choosing to do a job, they are being forced to work, which is inexcusable exploitation.”

March 01, 2017 – Drapers Textiles Report: What is driving textiles pricing? - Drapers

Uzbekistan is the fifth-largest exporter of cotton worldwide, but The Cotton Campaign, Responsible Sourcing Network and other watchdogs have long claimed that its government uses forced child and adult labour on an industry-wide scale.

April 13, 2017 – Apple, Intel Carry on as SEC Relaxes Conflict Minerals ScrutinyBloomberg BNA

“We’ll continue to call for transparency on this issue and call out companies who roll back their own reporting just because the SEC isn’t asking for it,” said Patricia Jurewicz, director of the Responsible Sourcing Network, which ranks companies each year based on their reporting.

April 4, 2017 – OP-ED: Repeal and Replacement of Conflict Minerals Rule 1502 Undermines Peace and Stability in the CongoHuffington Post  Co-authored by Lauren Compere and Patricia Jurewicz

Not only does [1502] support companies and investors by creating a level playing field to compare company actions, such as in RSN’s Mining the Disclosures reports, but it also helps minimize violence and despair.

February 22, 2017 – Investors with $3trn sign up to defend SEC conflict minerals ruleResponsible Investor

Responsible Sourcing Network is a lead investor signatory (on the letter submitted to the SEC).

February 14, 2017 – Can going green help pick the slavery out of cotton?Eco-Business

“There are improvements little by little and the most where brands get involved in production as they don’t want to be linked to abuse,” [Patricia Jurewicz] said. “But there’s a long way to go”.

February 10, 2017 – Conflict Minerals Latest Disclosure Rule Targeted for RollbackBloomberg BNA

Rebels are still profiting from gold mining in the region, the U.N. Security Council said in June. Some companies, including Exxon Mobil Corp. and Owens Corning, are also telling suppliers not to source from the region at all, effectively creating an embargo, according to the Responsible Sourcing Network.

February 02, 2017 – SEC to ‘Reconsider’ Conflict Minerals ReportingBloomberg BNA

“Given the global market available to companies today, if they don’t have to abide by something in this country, they’re likely to abide by something in another country,” Patricia Jurewicz, director of the Responsible Sourcing Network, told Bloomberg BNA.

January 02, 2017 – Is a Tesla really ethical? Company won’t say how its batteries aren’t taintedAustralian Financial Review   Originally published in The Washington Post, December 30, 2016.

"Most consumers have an expectation that their products are sourced responsibly," said Patricia Jurewicz, director of the Responsible Sourcing Network, a group that seeks to correct human rights abuses in the way raw materials are harvested and mined… “It’s important for companies to demonstrate what they’re doing and go beyond a mere verbal commitment,”