PPAI Magazine May 2023

The Long March | Must Read The promotional products industry continues to make progress in finding alternatives to Chinese cotton and other products. Here, we explore the challenges of those efforts and what industry leaders have learned. by James Khattak It’s hard to make branded apparel without cotton, and the cotton has to come from somewhere. The where has never been of greater importance to the promotional products industry. Accusations of forced labor used in the production of cotton and other goods and materials in China, particularly in the Xinjiang province, are credible and concerning. Recognizing the human rights implications and its impact on creating a just, equitable supply chain, the industry has moved quickly to ensure that the goods it offers are compliant and responsibly sourced. Even before the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act went into effect in June 2022, the promo community had begun to increase scrutiny and develop deep levels of control in its supply chain and, in many cases, began moving to diversify sourcing outside of China. PPAI • MAY 2023 • 67