The dark side of importing garments from Asia: Ethical risks explored

Confronting ethical challenges in Asia's clothing industry

The clothing industry in Asia is a huge source of imports for many Western companies. However, this sector is not without ethical dilemmas. From forced labour to child labour, the risks are real and worrying. This blog highlights the ethical challenges specifically related to clothing imports from Asia.

Ethical dilemmas when importing garments from Asia

Clothing production in countries such as China, Bangladesh and India is often surrounded by human rights concerns. Reports of the use of Uighurs in cotton production in Xinjiang, North Koreans in China or child labour in textile factories in Bangladesh and India are disturbing. These practices can lead to serious reputational damage and legal consequences for importers.

Legislative changes and compliance

Laws around the world are becoming stricter to force companies to act more ethically. Transparency in supply chains is not only expected, but also required by law. Ignoring these developments could lead to legal sanctions. The EU is now also working on legislation for this.

Due diligence in the clothing industry

In-depth due diligence is essential. Importers must monitor working conditions in factories, ensure compliance with labour laws and steer clear of regions where forced labour is known to occur.

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Collaboration for ethical imports

Choosing reliable partners with knowledge of the Asian markets and the clothing industry is crucial. These partners can assist in finding ethical suppliers and conducting inspections and audits.


Importing garments from Asia requires a conscious and ethical approach. By proactively conducting due diligence and working with specialist partners, companies can ensure that their clothing imports are free from human rights violations.

Does your company need support in ethically importing clothing from Asia?

Westwood Sourcing helps ensure a responsible and sustainable apparel supply chain. Contact us for expert guidance and support. 

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Important considerations when importing garments from Asia