Nike shareholders have rejected a proposal that would ban the brand from sourcing goods and raw materials from China amid allegations regarding forced labour and human rights abuse in Xinjiang. The label’s activist shareholders Domini Impact Investments and Vancity Investment Management put forward the proposal amid accumulating these allegations.
It was suggested by the two firms that the company halt the procurement of cotton from China until the US government’s Business Advisory is lifted or reversed. Before Nike’s annual general meeting, its board of directors advised shareholders against voting for the proposal.
Nike argued that it did not directly source materials from the region, and that its Corporate Responsibility, Sustainability and Governance Committee is overseeing its efforts to innovate in sustainability.
In its Proxy Statement, Nike stated, “Nike expects all our suppliers to share our commitment to respecting the rights of workers and advancing their welfare, with particular care for people with unique vulnerabilities such as women, migrants and temporary workers.”
Nike’s decision closely follows a recent statement by the United Nations, which stated that “serious human rights violations have taken place” in the cotton-producing region. As a result of the report’s investigation, the findings challenged the country’s anti-terrorism strategies and use of vocational education and training centers.