BAFTA-winning company Insight News TV is to film at the Continental London offices for a documentary film about Uzbekistan for BBC Newsnight.
Insight News is to interview company spokesperson Mariusz Stochaj about the origin of the cotton Continental use in their T-shirts and apparel. Many clothing companies, particularly high street retailers, have claimed it's too difficult to find out the source of the cotton they use. Continental dispute this, and say that it takes no more than an email or a phone call to the supplier .
Continental spokesperson Mariusz Stochaj spoke out “Factories will bend over backwards for their customers, and especially for the large retailers and fashion brands. Can you really imagine Primark or Matalan being told ‘No’ by any of their suppliers? That would never happen. There is almost nothing they will not do for them, and providing documentary proof of the origin of the cotton, if requested, is the least of their many problems as manufacturers.”
Each of the factories Continental uses, in Turkey, China and India, have prepared the paperwork for both the organic and non-organic cotton, to show the source of the raw cotton. It took only four days to prepare the documentation, and the documentation had to show the receipt of the cotton as it travels up the supply chain of the manufacturing processes.
Mariusz continued, “It was the Turkish factory owner who pointed out the obvious, he said ‘it is only those who are trying to hide something, who cannot provide receipts for the cotton purchases when asked.’ “
Insight News have been filming undercover in Uzbekistan, at great risk to their personal safety, both the 2007 Uzbek ‘Cotton Conference’, and the school children working in the fields alongside their teachers, picking the cotton. Continental Clothing Company, by being the only company to take a stand and to prove the origin of their cotton, and on three continents, is providing the ammunition to confront and question the retailers who purposefully conceal the origin of their cotton.
Mariusz Stochaj: “Consumers deserve to have this information. If a consumer could choose between a cotton T-shirt made using Uzbek cotton, picked by school children forcibly taken from their classes by their government, or a T-shirt made with ‘clean’ cotton, I’m hoping that they’d choose the latter.”
Continental now label their garments with the country of origin of the cotton, following the recommendation of the Environmental Justice Foundation.