STATESVILLE, N.C.—Badger Sport terminates sourcing from Hetian Taida, an apparel manufacturer based in Northwest China. The move follows recent reports that allege Hetian Taida uses forced labor in its facilities.
An in-depth article by the Associated Press in December 2018 reported on internment camps in China where detainees were forced to work for various manufacturers. One of those facilities, according to the report, showed an interior that “matches that of Hetian Taida’s main Hotan branch.”
Since the initial report, Badger launched an investigation into the claims. A statement on the company’s Facebook page and website noted that the Hetian facility is Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) certified, and Badger was subsequently following up with an auditor from the organization. In that statement, the company reported WRAP contending that the facility was “not located within the premises of the reeducation camp.”
An updated statement from Badger on Wednesday reiterates the company’s ongoing efforts to address the allegations.
“Upon hearing these press reports, we immediately suspended ordering, receiving, or shipping any product from the supplier, Hetian Taida Apparel Co., Ltd., and launched a multi-faceted investigation,” the company says. “This process included internal reviews and an investigation conducted by outside legal counsel working with a global forensic accounting firm.”
With their investigation complete, Badger now says it will no longer source any product from the Northwestern China company, nor will it ship any existing product sourced from the facility. Despite investigation results that revealed a manufacturer consistent with the Badger’s global sourcing policy, the company says it chose to end the sourcing agreement “out of an abundance of caution and to eliminate any concerns about our supply chain given the controversy around doing business in Northwestern China.” In addition to terminating business with Hetian Taida, the company says it will no longer source product from this region of the country.
“We take extremely seriously any allegations of a supplier not complying with our Global Sourcing Policy,” the company adds. “We strive to adhere to the highest manufacturing standards, as we have done for the past 47 years without issue.”
For more information, visit www.badgersport.com.