Is Beyoncé’s Ivy Park Being Created By Overworked And Underpaid Sweatshop Workers?
“Come again? You say that Ivy Park is made in sweatshops?”
That’s what everyone has been asking today after British publication The Sun published a piece stating that the individuals producing the popular athleisure line are out here working up to 60 hours a day for a measly $6.17 each day. Sounds like a ridiculous claim. However, it’s always interesting when anyone associated with Beyoncé (aside from anyone on her father’s side…) make statements about rumors, which is something they don’t usually entertain.
So basically, the piece, published on Sunday, stated that the workers putting together the empowering clothing are actually being treated like cattle by those behind Topshop, including fashion businessman Sir Philip Green. He is the chairman of the Arcadia Group, a retail company that includes the famous British retailer. As written in it, “The workers, mostly young women from poor rural villages, can only afford to live in boarding houses and work more than 60 hours a week to make ends meet.”
And as one machinist told the tabloid, “When they talk about women and empowerment this is just for the foreigners. They want the foreigners to think everything is OK.”
According to WWD.com, the brand responded to the allegations about the manufacturing process with a statement that said, “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 worldwide work very closely with our suppliers and their factories to ensure compliance.”
But, as WWD pointed out, with a minimum daily wage of $2.68 (which is 400 rupees in Sri Lanka), Ivy Park workers are actually making “more than twice” most people. And the company who supplies the facility where manufacturing takes place, MAS, currently works with or has worked with Lululemon, Nike, Patagonia and many other popular companies. So it makes you wonder why there is such a heated investigation by the line that Beyoncé is the face and creator of when we’re all out here wearing Nikes and not feeling any type of way.
“According to an industry source, the MAS facilities were fully vetted by members of the Ivy Park team before production began, and that all the factories that make Ivy Park were ‘painstakingly’ chosen. Workers are paid above minimum wage in countries where the clothes are made,” a source stated to WWD.
The criticism of Topshop comes as Green is investigated for possible business impropriety due to the struggles of his former business BHS. So, I guess, those connected to the businesses he has or was affiliated with are being investigated and scrutinized too. But as for the hopes and goals of the line, it’s all supposed to be about uplifting women.
When speaking on Ivy Parker, stated that “My goal with Ivy Park is to push the boundaries of athletic wear and to support and inspire women who understand that beauty is more than your physical appearance. True beauty is in the health of our minds, hearts and bodies.”
“She continued, “I know that when I feel physically strong, I am mentally strong and I wanted to create a brand that made other women feel the same way.”