Primark is in hot water again after a 25-year-old shopper found a controversial hand-stitched label reading "forced to work exhausting hours" sewn into her dress.
After buying her £10 floral dress from the high street bargain store, Rebecca Gallagher told the South Wales Evening Post, "I was amazed when I checked for the washing instructions and spotted this label. To be honest I've never really thought much about how the clothes are made. But this really made me think about how we get our cheap fashion. I dread to think that my summer top may be made by some exhausted person toiling away for hours in some sweatshop abroad.”
This is not the first time Primark’s ethics have come under scrutiny after the global brand had to pay out $9 million to victims earlier this year after one of its Bangladesh factories collapsed on workers in April 2013. Following the incident, there were protests in the UK questioning the working standards upheld by the brand.
When and where this label came to be sewn into the dress is unclear at this time, but regardless, it is not a positive sign for the store.
A spokesperson for Primark responded to Vogue UK today regarding the matter: “We find it very strange that this has come to light so recently, given that the dress was on sale more than a year ago, with no other incidents of this kind relating to this dress. We would be grateful if the customer would give us the dress, so we can investigate how the additional label became attached and whether there are issues that need to be looked into. Primark's code of conduct sets out the core principles that suppliers and factories must follow to ensure products are made in good working conditions, and that the people making them are treated decently and paid a fair wage. We inspect each factory to ensure it is meeting the code and support it by providing guidance and training when issues are identified. Primark is a member of the Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI), and our code is based on the ETI base code."