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“BJ’s is constantly working on and always monitoring its sourcing programs to ensure that we have a safe, reliable and trustworthy supply chain for our Members.
Unfortunately, forced labor in cotton production remains endemic in many countries. Human Rights Watch, an international nongovernmental organization that is dedicated to protecting human rights, identifies the Uzbekistan government as the most egregious human rights violator in this sector. Every year, the government shuts down universities and public offices for months at a time and forces over one million students, teachers and civil servants to harvest the cotton fields.
As a responsible global citizen, BJ’s decided to take a firm stand in opposition of this abuse by creating BJ’s Ethical Cotton Sourcing Program. “We must continue to send the message that any form of forced labor is unacceptable, whether it’s in Uzbekistan or any country,” said Scott Williams, Assistant Vice President of Quality Assurance and Environmental Stewardship. “At BJ’s, we operate with integrity by ensuring our merchandise team works with vendors who do not use manufacturing practices that rely on forced labor or unsafe working conditions in our supply chain.”
BJ’s is now sourcing solely from regions that are not subject to systematic abuse. This meant digging deep into supply chains to ensure that Uzbek cotton is not being used. Once that arduous task was complete, we were able to confidently and proudly join over 200 other brands in signing the Responsible Sourcing Network’s Cotton Pledge – an agreement to not knowingly source Uzbek cotton until the country’s government ends the practice of forced labor.”
To read the Cotton Pledge, visit sourcingnetwork.org/the-cotton-pledge
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