They have now called for boycotts of brands associated with the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) - a non-profit group that promotes sustainable cotton production - whose members include Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Burberry, Puma, and Tommy Hilfiger.
Meanwhile, state media have highlighted a number of Chinese brands including Li Ning, Anta, Peak, and Meters/bonwe, with trending hashtags on Weibo praising the companies for specifically using Xinjiang cotton - Li Ning for instance lists this on its clothing tags.
Anta, the world's third biggest sportswear company, said on Weibo it was a member of BCI, but was pulling out of the initiative. "We have always bought and used cotton produced in China, including Xinjiang cotton, and in the future we will continue to do so," it said.
Japanese sportswear label Asics also pledged support for Xinjiang cotton, while Japanese retailer Muji - which at one point had marketed a "Xinjiang cotton" line of products- told the Global Times it was still selling such items in China..