Uzbekistan cotton

The Responsible Sourcing Network, a project from the nonprofit organization As You Sow, said that it has launched its new initiative, YESS: Yarn Ethically and Sustainably Sourced. Its objective is to eradicate forced labor and the worst forms of child labor out of cotton production.

Primary aims of YESS include: support for companies to help prove compliance with antislavery relations; increasing marketability for yarn spinners and brands that source ethical cotton; the establishment of industry-wide traceability; the creation of a global list of verified spinners and mills; the improvement of efficiencies; and the abatement of verification costs. YESS will also work toward achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 8 — decent work and economic growth — and Indicator 8.7, which is to take effective measures to eliminate forced labor, end modern slavery and eradicate the worst forms of child labor, with the hope to end all child labor by 2025.

YESS said it will train cotton yarn spinners to implement operational “due diligence systems” to keep cotton from forced labor and WFCL out of cotton production. To achieve this end, YESS allied with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and will adhere to principles stated in its “Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector” or risk-based due diligence approach, a scalable and effective set of guidelines for multinational enterprises in mineral and commodity supply chains.

YESS will provide guidance documents, training materials and a protocol to verify that participating spinners have working policies and material management systems, as well as transaction-level documentation to verify they have sourced cotton that is exclusively free of forced labor and WFCL, the firm said.

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