Beyonce’s clothing brand made by “underpaid” Sri Lankan workers

Ivy ParkHollywood singer Beyonce’s sportswear brand ‘Ivy Park’ is being made by workers in Sri Lanka earning just £4.30 a day in squalid conditions, British and US newspaper alleged.

The range was named after her four-year-old daughter Blue Ivy and created to “inspire women who understand that beauty is more than your physical appearance”.

Seven News reported that Sri Lankan women are made to work over 60 hours a week for less than half of the average wage to produce the activewear clothing brand.

The Sun reports that anti-slavery campaigner Jakub Sobik has attacked Beyonce’s brand, revealing: “With what is being described here, this is a form of sweat shop slavery.

“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.”

An unnamed seamstress from MAS Holdings, whose 74,000-strong workforce is made up of 70 per cent women, also dismissed claims that the workers are empowered.

“When they talk about women and empowerment this is just for the foreigners. They want the foreigners to think everything is OK,” the seamstress said.

The Sri Lankan company is not breaking any laws as the legal minimum wage in Sri Lanka is 13,500 rupees a month but campaigners feel the minimum wage should be closer to 43,000 rupees.

A Topshop spokesperson defended Beyonce’s range to the newspaper, saying: “Ivy Park has a rigorous ethical trading programme.

“We are proud of our sustained efforts in terms of factory inspections and audits, and our teams 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.”

Ivy Park is sold across Australia in Top Shop, Glue Store, Myer and online retailer The Iconic and Beyonce has not personally commented on the matter. (Colombo Gazette)


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