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Ivy Park accused of exploiting “sweat shop labourers”

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Beyoncé’s latest Ivy Park range for Topshop has been accused of employing “sweat shop labourers” who are paid £4.30 a day.

The brand is made by seamstresses in Sri Lanka who earn less than the legal minimum wage, according to The Sun on Sunday. Campaigners have described it as a “form of sweat shop slavery”.

News has emerged that a 22 year old seamstress was earning 18,500 rupees, the equivalent of £87.26 a month which totals as half the Sri Lankan living wage. Workers are exposed to nine and three-quarter hour shifts, five days a week, plus overtime.

“This is a form of sweat shop slavery. There are a number of elements here that tick the boxes in terms of slavery, the low pay, restriction of women’s movement at night and locking them in. Companies like Topshop have a duty to find out if these things are happening, and it has long been shown that ethical inspections by these companies are failing. They should be replaced by independent inspections,” Jakub Sobik, from the charity Anti-Slavery International, said to The Sun on Sunday.

“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 teams 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” A Topshop spokeswoman told the newspaper.

Published on Monday 16 May by Talya Misiri

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