Our commitment to our customers to always lead with our values is at the heart of who we are as a company. We believe in transparency and speaking the truth to our loyal customer base who have allowed us to grow into the business we are today. With that in mind, we wanted to provide you with this update about one of our partners and lay out a clear path forward.
It has come to our attention that one of our fabric suppliers has been participating in the slave trade by utilizing cotton originating in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China. This use, whether known or unknown to our supplier, was discovered when conducting isotopic testing of all our manufacturing partners to ensure that each product’s origin is as the supplier claims. We regularly conduct this testing to ensure the integrity of the products we put to market.
One of our suppliers failed that testing, indicating that they falsely labeled their cotton’s origin and that it in fact originated in Chinese territories known for utilizing slave labor. With this in mind, Nine Line has made the decision to no longer conduct business with the entity in question until further testing shows they no longer utilize cotton derived from Uyghur forced labor camps.
For reasons both moral and financial, we cannot in good conscience stay quiet as companies employ these inhumane practices. Allowing this type of behavior is what hurts American companies competing with behemoths that have no concern for anything but their bottom line. If Company X is able to purchase cotton at one-tenth the price of cotton produced here in the US or in a country with similar labor standards, and there is no enforcement of existing laws preventing that practice, customers will naturally gravitate towards the less expensive product. If both labels state “100% Cotton” and neither indicates the cotton’s origin, the end user could unknowingly be helping facilitate the inhumane treatment experienced by the Uyghurs. Uyghurs are currently being subjugated to work in inhospitable conditions with little to no pay. They are held against their will and will likely live and die within the confines of the prison system similar to that experienced by Slaves right here in GA a few hundred years ago.
As a veteran-owned and operated company, we put our values over profit margin and spent an incredible amount of time, money, and effort to bring manufacturing – and the good-paying jobs that come with it – back to the US. Over the past decade, we have cut ties with Chinese manufacturers and focus on working with partners here in the US. While most of our manufacturing is conducted stateside, when we do utilize foreign fabrics it is done so with extreme care and caution to ensure facilities are rated and adhere to international standards of care and compensation. As such, we were extremely disappointed to discover a small portion of our product indicated the presence of internationally banned cotton.
This product line has since been replaced, removed from our website, and we will take any and all steps to ensure the appropriate authorities are made aware of the situation. We remain committed to partnering with manufacturers who share our values including Hanes, District Thread, and Bella Canvas. We challenge all apparel brands across the country to follow suit and commit to ensuring that no slave cotton is sold to an American consumer. Only by cutting off the demand for slave-based fabrics can we strike a blow to the Chinese government’s genocidal campaign against the Uyghurs.
Nine Line Apparel remains committed to being the voice for those less fortunate and will ANSWER THE CALL to prevent evil from triumphing over good!
No one has ever seen the Yeti, but we ALL know he’s out there!
Similar to our Special Operators willing to put their lives on the line to Answer the Call for our Nation, this shirt serves as a beacon of hope for the slaves currently subjected to the tyrannical treatment of the Chinese government.
Funds from this shirt will help pay for isotopic testing of manufacturing suppliers to help prevent slave cotton from entering the United States.
Take action, be America’s lifeline and stand up to those who participate in the slave trade!
*Images provided by Taiwan News, Getty Images, Reuters, and BBC news*