Is fast fashion slowing down? How global trade is being used as a ‘force for good’

In the world of fast fashion, where trends are born as quickly as they are discarded, global trade regulations have struggled to keep pace with relentless cycles of production and consumption.

In attempting to meet the demands of this fast-paced sector, global trade has historically failed to address the troubling reality hiding behind the industry’s glamorous façade: a supply chain tainted by human rights abuses and forced labor.

But experts say that’s changing.

In 2022, the US Department of Homeland Security began enforcing the standards for manufacturing and trade under the Uyghur Forced Labor Protection Act to crack down on Asian goods that US officials suspect are the product of forced labor by imprisoned ethnic minorities. Those include the Uyghurswhose maltreatment has been extensively documented.

The United States has banned a large number of garment imports from Vietnam, a major exporter of textiles. Companies there were found to be sourcing materials, including cotton, from manufacturers in China that the US government believes violated trade and labor standards.

“We have a calling to use trade as a force for good, advocating for fairness creating real opportunity for all of our people,” said US Trade Representative Katherine Tai at a “

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