Last fall the organizers of New York's Fashion Week responded to pressure from members of the cotton campaign and a wave of public criticism by canceling Gulnara Karimova's planned show of her Guli line. The Uzbek dictator's daughter, tagged the "fascista fashionista" by the New York Post, dug in and held her show elsewhere and campaign supporters were there to protest, including Uzbek refugees whose children were actually being forced to pick cotton back home while their fathers walked the picket line.
Unfortunately, not all the fashion world seems to have gotten the message. According to the NY Times, at the recent spring shows in Paris, acclaimed designer Rei Kawakubo showed a line of garments made of fabric from Uzbekistan. Back in the fall, Gulnara's people put out the defense that Guli garments were made of silk not cotton. Maybe that's the case with Kawakubo too. If so, it's a distinction without a difference since, as the Daily Times of Pakistan has pointed out, in Uzbekistan silk is also produced with the abundant use of child labor.
Isn't it about time that the people who seek to set our tastes in fashion realized that their consumers do not want to wear garments produced through the forced labor of children?