Forced labor and the cotton industry
Cotton has become a staple in our everyday lives. It's found in any number of items, from clothing to bath towels and coffee filters to book binding. But inside the cotton industry resides a sad reality of ongoing modern slavery - such as in the cotton fields of Uzbekistan.
Cotton is Uzbekistan's most valuable export, and the material finds its way onto the shelves of most global clothing and apparel retailers. The Uzbek government is complicit in human rights abuses involving children, going as far as the closure of schools to force the nation's youth to pick in the cotton fields.
Praxis Mutual Funds is participating in letter-writing campaigns and corporate dialogues, urging dozens of companies to pledge the elimination of Uzbek cotton from their supply chain. Many companies have responded affirmatively - establishing policies and requiring their suppliers to refrain from using Uzbek cotton. Evidence has surfaced, however, suggesting many company suppliers (often cotton mills or spinners) either don't know where their cotton is sourced or disregard their pledge to boycott cotton from Uzbekistan.
Shareholder advocates, including Praxis, are now focusing attention on the cotton mills and spinners that ultimately supply retail and apparel companies with cloth. A new initiative is helping companies fulfill their pledge to eliminate child labor-tainted cotton from their supply chain, and this effort promises to offer a more direct way to economically pressure the Uzbek government to end forced child labor.
You should consider the fund's investment objectives, risks and charges and expenses carefully before you invest. The fund's prospectus contains this and other information. Call (800) 977-2947 or visit www.praxismutualfunds.com for a prospectus, which you should read carefully before you invest. Praxis Mutual Funds are advised by Everence Capital Management and distributed through FINRA member BHIL Distributors Inc. Investment products offered are not FDIC insured, may lose value, and have no bank guarantee.