Apple is facing accusations that forced labor was involved in making t-shirts likely worn by Apple Store staff. The items were made by Changji Esquel Textile, a firm in China’s Xinjiang region facing U.S. sanctions over the working conditions (via The Guardian).
Apple Store Shirts Shipped Month Before Sanctions Came in
According to records uncovered by the Tech Transparency Project, Esquel sent a shipment of women’s cotton and elastane knit shirts to “Apple Retail stores” in California a month before the sanctions came into force. An Apple spokesperson said that no current suppliers source cotton from the region. However, they did not confirm whether or not they had done so previously. The company always insists that it follows local laws in the countries in which it operates. Changji Esquel Textile is a subsidiary of Esquel, a Hoing Kong garment group, which denied allegations of abuse.