Handwritten cries for help have been found in the pockets of Zara’s garments, dragging the fashion giant into fresh controversy over labour standards.
Shoppers at a Zara store in Istanbul discovered handmade notes thought to have been put in by factory workers alleging they had not been paid for months of work.
The notes found in the pockets of various garments read: “I made this item you are going to buy, but I didn’t get paid for it.”
According to the Associated Press the workers were employed by a third-party manufacturing company called Bravo Tekstil.
The manufacturer, which also supplies Mango and Next, closed down abruptly and left hundreds of workers unpaid for several months work.
In September it was revealed that the 140 workers affected by Bravo Tekstil’s closure had been owed the wages for over a year, reportedly totaling £570,000 including severance pay.
“Inditex has met all of its contractual obligations to Bravo Textil and is currently working on a proposal with the local IndustriALL affiliate, Mango and Next to establish a hardship fund for the workers affected by the fraudulent disappearance of the Bravo factory’s owner,” Zara’s parent company Inditex stated.
“This hardship fund would cover unpaid wages, notice indemnity, unused vacation and severance payments of workers that were employed at the time of the sudden shutdown of their factory in July 2016. We are committed to finding a swift solution for all of those impacted.”
This is not the first time the Spanish retailer has come under fire for its choice of unethical suppliers.
Back in June it was accused of using a factory which dumped toxic viscose material into local rivers, turning them black.
It told Retail Gazette: “In the case of the viscose supply chain, traceability is Inditex‘s first priority, and in 2014 we became a founding member of the Canopy commitment to engage cellulosic suppliers directly.”