Is Beyoncé in cahoots with overseas clothing companies that use sweatshop labor and poor conditions to manufacture her new sportswear line, Ivy Park?
Britain’s The Sun, released an investigation on the brand Sunday, revealing that the brand is allegedly employing impoverished seamstresses in the MAS Holdings factory in Sri Lanka, where they earn only $6.17 a day.
A 22-year old sewing machine operator revealed to the newspaper that she lives in a 100-room boarding house close to the factory where “All we do is work, sleep, work, sleep.” She’s surviving on just a bit more than half of the Sri Lakan average monthly income of $235.49, by earning a mere $125.30 a month. Buying a pair of leggings from Ivy Park at $80.00 would be more than half of this woman’s salary.
Nevertheless, The Sun acknowledges that the factory, owned by Sri Lankan tycoon Mahesh Amalean and his two brothers are not breaking any laws and even adds that the poorest of their workers make more than the country’s minimum wage. However, Jakub Sobi, from Anti-Slavery International says, “This is a form of sweatshop slavery.”
Today, Ivy Park, the joint venture between Beyoncé and British billionaire Sir Phillip Green, has defended itself against these sweatshop allegations.
The brand said in a released statement,
“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 facotries to ensure compliance.”
The brand has expectations for its suppliers in meeting their code of conduct and stated, “we support them in achieving these requirements.”
Ivy Park entered the retail game in stores and online last month after an online campaign launched with the singer releasing the IvyPark.com site (and starring in it) as well as wearing the clothing on both of her Elle Magazine covers.
Ivy Park prices range from $11.00 for a headband to $230.00 for a full bodysuit.
Beauties, what do you think? Fair practices or foul play?