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ZARA customers find notes from unpaid labourers sewn into their shopping


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Unpaid workers at the fashion giant have taken a stand after reportedly being refused several months’ wages.

Spanish retail chain ZARA hasn’t had the cleanest track record when it comes to ethical branding.

Back in 2013, it came under fire for using slave labour in Argentinian factories, where children would be forced to work a 16-hour day with no breaks. Last year, ZARA was accused of copying an LA-artist’s designs without permission. The company have also been linked with harmful environmental practice at some of their factories.

Now, customers in Istanbul have reported finding notes sewn into the pockets of their purchases. One allegedly read ‘I made this item you are going to buy, but I didn’t get paid for it’.

A petition has also been launched by the workers, who were employed by textile manufacturers Bravo Tekstil, campaigning for ‘basic rights’. The third-party manufacturers, who also produce garments for retailers Next and Mango, shut down overnight, according to the Associated Press. The move has left workers short of at least three months’ pay.

The 140 Bravo workers say creditors marched into their workplace and seized all valuables and machinery, while their boss disappeared with their wages. They’re now targeting ZARA itself for the missing pay and for better working standards, with over 20,000 signatures so far.

The retailer, worth £8.6 billion with over 2,200 stores worldwide, claimed last month it was working with the International Labour Organisation to improve labour conditions ‘at all levels of the garment sector value chain’.

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