Skip to content
#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Image: Ivy Park

Beyoncé's clothing range is made by 'sweatshop labourers paid 55c an hour'

Topshop says Ivy Park has a “rigorous ethical trading programme”.
May 15th 2016, 12:27 PM 43,140 80

BEYONCÉ’S SPORTSWEAR range for Topshop, Ivy Park, is made by sweatshop workers who earn as little as £4.30 (about €5.45) a day, a British newspaper has claimed.

The Sun on Sunday is reporting that seamstresses making some of the clothes in the range earn just 44p (about 55c) an hour.

The newspaper spoke to workers in an MAS Holdings factory in Sri Lanka which supplies some of the range’s garments.

The newspaper says many of the seamstresses, mostly young women from poor rural villages, work more than 60 hours a week.

MAS is owned by Sri Lankan tycoon Mahesh Amalean and his two brothers. It employs 74,000 workers in 48 factories across Asia.

The Sun notes that MAS is not breaking any laws as all workers are paid more than the legal minimum wage of 13,500 rupees (about €80) a month. However, human rights campaigners say a living wage is closer to 43,000 rupees (€260).

Jakub Sobik, from the charity Anti-Slavery International, compared the conditions the workers face to “slavery”.

Ivy Park response 

Ivy Park is described as activewear brand “made for women who want to look and feel at the top of their game”.

One machinist reportedly told the Sun: “When they talk about women and empowerment this is just for the foreigners. They want the foreigners to think everything is OK.”

A Topshop spokeswoman told the newspaper:

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.

A statement by Ivy Park added: “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.”

Read: 25 police recruits killed by suicide bomber in Yemen

Read: These colorised photos bring pre-communist era Russia to life

Send a tip to the author

Órla Ryan

COMMENTS (80)

    Back to top