Beyonce’s new clothing line Ivy Park is being made by seamstresses in Sri Lanka who earn 44p an hour or £4.30 ie N1,229, a day.
Her clothing range which is distributed by Topshop and was created to “support and inspire women” – has come under fire after an unnamed seamstress from MAS Holdings dismissed claims of “empowerment” by the singer.
She said: “When they talk about women and empowerment this is just for the foreigners. They want the foreigners to think everything is OK.”
One campaigner Jakub Sobik of Anti-Slavery International said, “Companies like Topshop have a duty to find out if these things are happening”, just as others have proclaimed the legal minimum wage should be closer to 43,000 rupees ie N127,802 in Naira.
A spokeswoman for Topshop defended Beyonce’s “ethical trading program” for her Ivy Park range.
She told The Sun, “Ivy Park has a rigorous ethical trading program. 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.”
MAS Holdings employ 74,000 workers, with 70 percent of them being women. The company is currently not breaking any laws as the poorest workers are still paid more than the legal minimum wage of 13,500 rupees a month ie N40,124 in Naira.
Put your money where your mouth is, the least Queen Bey can do with all her talk about women empowerment is by paying her seamstresses a tad bit high so they too can feel ’empowered’ and not just keep them on a ‘at least you get paid’ level.
I mean she’s Beyonce.