Multi-millionaire singer Beyonce reportedly contracts with overseas clothing companies that use sweatshop labor to manufacture her sportswear line. She was in news after she released her latest album Lemonade. But this one makes a negative image and thats because of her unethical business interest.
Seamstresses in factories near Colombo, Sri Lanka, earn £4.30 ($8.47) a day for producing the Ivy Park range sold by Sir Philip’s Topshop chain, which includes £100 ($197) leggings and a £115 ($226) sleeveless jacket, The Sun on Sunday reported.
They report that many of the workers are poor young women who live in a 100-room boarding house, working more than 60 hours a week. They get no benefits or vacation time.
Ivy Park and Arcadia Group, the company that owns Topshop, have both responded to The Sun’s report and say that all contracted suppliers must provide “decent working conditions” for their employees and enforce a “code of conduct.”
“When customers buy our goods they have to be sure they have been made under acceptable conditions. That means without exploiting the people who make them,” a representative from Arcadia Group says.
A statement released by Ivy Park says, “Ivy Park has a rigorous ethical trading program. We are proud of our sustained efforts in terms of factory inspections and audits, and our teams worldwide work very closely with our suppliers and their factories to ensure compliance.”
The alleged low wages and poor living conditions of the workers is at odds with Beyoncé’s avowed aim for the Ivy Park brand of “empowering women”. When launching the label Beyoncé said that she wanted to “support and inspire women”.
A spokeswoman for Topshop said: “Ivy Park has a rigorous ethical trading programme. We expect our suppliers to meet our code of conduct and we support them in achieving these requirements.
“We are proud of our sustained efforts in terms of factory inspections and audits, and our team’s worldwide work very closely with our suppliers and their factories to ensure compliance. We expect our suppliers to meet our code of conduct and we support them in achieving these requirements.”
But all these clarifications are just to cover the business interest and the report clearly showing the unethical usage of workers in this case.
Speak up Beyonce!