TO: Calvin McDonald, CEO of Lululemon Athletica, Canada
We are writing this letter on behalf of Canadians in Support of Refugees in Dire Need (CSRDN) and Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project (URAP) as well as 25 other Canadian and Humanitarian organizations to express concern around Lululemon’s presence at the 2022 Beijing Winter Games.
It is well-documented that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is committing a genocide against the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang (East Turkistan), China. This has now been recognized by human rights groups and governments around the world, including by the Canadian Parliament.
There is ample evidence that a genocide is occurring. As found by the Canadian Subcommittee on International Human Rights, there is pervasive state surveillance of Uyghurs in Xinjiang (East Turkistan). Various technologies are used to track their every movement in what essentially amounts to a police state. Millions are rounded up and arbitrarily detained. Although estimates vary, approximately 2 million Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities are detained in these camps, in the largest mass detention of a minority group since the Holocaust.
Detainees in the camps are exploited as forced labourers, which, according to a recent report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), has tainted the supply chains of massive multinational corporations worldwide, including Apple and Nike. According to a report by Adrian Zenz, Uyghur women are forcibly sterilized and subjected to other population control measures such as forced birth control. They are also subject to mass rape and sexual abuse, as
documented by BBC News earlier this year, and recently 12 UN Special Rapporteurs and human rights experts expressed concerns regarding credible evidence of forced organ harvesting.
As evidence of these atrocities grows, several companies have responded. Several brands that were implicated by ASPI as using Uyghur forced labour – including Lacoste and Adidas – have committed to eradicating Uyghur forced labour from their supply chains.
While some companies have taken these positive steps forward in support of the Uyghurs, we are concerned that Lululemon is now taking a step backward by outfitting Team Canada at the 2022 Beijing Winter Games. While Uyghur activists, human rights groups, and Canadian MPs call for a boycott of the Beijing Games, Lululemon would be supporting them, and providing legitimacy to the CCP at a time when evidence of their atrocities is mounting, and the Uyghur population is
being actively destroyed.
Lululemon has an impressive track record relating to human rights, as recognized by KnowTheChain. Lululemon’s classification as the best-performing brand of the 37 companies scored, receiving 89 out of 100 on the benchmark score and fitting the category of “advanced steps” to address forced labour risks in its supply chains – is impressive and commendable.
We ask that Lululemon continue to prioritize human rights, cancel plans to outfit Team Canada
for the 2022 Beijing Winter Games, and resume its deal in 2024 at the Paris Summer Games.
In addition, we ask that Lululemon commit to eradicating any Uyghur forced labour from their supply chains. Lululemon, despite a growing presence in the China market, has not responded to repeated requests for comment about its possible use of Uyghur forced labour at earlier stages of the supply chain. China produces 22% of the world’s cotton, and 84% of Chinese cotton comes from Xinjiang (East Turkistan), where Uyghurs are pervasively used as forced labourers in the
cotton fields. Use of factories in China means that there is a strong possibility that there is Uyghur forced labour in Lululemon’s supply chain.
A decision by Lululemon not to outfit the Canada team at the 2022 Beijing Winter Games would be a step in the right direction and help alleviate any confusion around Lululemon’s human rights stance. Such a response would also help raise awareness about the Uyghur genocide and encourage other brands to take similar actions in support of victims of atrocity crimes. Further, and at a minimum, Lululemon should commit to eradicating any Uyghur forced labour from their
supply chains, and make clear, in a public statement, that any cotton products used, including to outfit Olympic athletes, are not made using Uyghur forced labour.
The onus is on Lululemon to ensure beyond a reasonable doubt that it does not support in any way the atrocities being committed against the Uyghur minority in China. We ask that Lululemon not outfit Team Canada at the 2022 Beijing Winter Games, instead resuming its deal with the 2024 Paris Summer Games. We also ask that Lululemon publicly commit to eradicating Uyghur forced labour from its supply chains, and publicly commit that any Olympic outfits provided are not made using Uyghur forced labour.
- Canadians in Support of Refugees in Dire Need (CSRDN)
- Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project
- Toronto Association for Democracy in China
- Alliance Canada Hong Kong
- Anatolia Islamic Centre
- Canada Tibet Committee
- Canadian Council of Imams (CCI)
- Canada-Hong Kong Link
- Canadian Security Research Group
- End Transplant Abuse in China (ETAC)
- East Turkistan Association of Canada
- Human Rights Research and Education Center, University of Ottawa
- Human Concern International (HCI)
- Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) Canada
- Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)
- Justice for All
- Lawyers for Humanity
- Muslim Association of Canada (MAC)
- National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM)
- Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights
- Share 2 Care (S2C)
- Stop Uyghur Genocide Canada
- Union Des Organisations de Secours et Soins Medicaux (UOSSM)
- Uyghur Refugee Relief Fund
- Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement