Fawcett Society says Elle X Whistles pro-feminist T-shirts ARE ethically sourced
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The Elle X Whistles ‘This is what a feminist looks like’ T-shirt has hit the headlines in recent weeks – while the collaboration was applauded during its initial release, with everyone from Benedict Cumberbatch and Emma Watson to Harriet Harman and Ed Miliband spotted proudly sporting the slogan T-shirt, things soon turned sour. On 1st November, the Mail on Sunday reported claims that the apparently ethical £45 T-shirts were in fact manufactured in Mauritius sweatshops, with women machinists being paid just 62p an hour and sleeping 16 to a room. However, there now appears to be another twist in the tale, and one which will undoubtedly be welcome news for the pro-feminist fashion partnership. Women's group The Fawcett Society, who were last year approached by Elle to ask if they could help with a redesign of the Society’s iconic ‘this is what a feminist looks like’ T-shirt in line with the launch of the special ‘Feminist’ December issue of the magazine, has investigated and rejected the Mail’s claims. The Fawcett Society has said that it has seen evidence which ‘categorically refutes’ reports that the T-shirts were made under sweatshop conditions. A statement from Eva Neitzert, Deputy CEO of the Fawcett Society, published on the Fawcett Society site on 4th November, read: ‘We are pleased to confirm that we have today seen expansive and current evidence from Whistles that the CMT factory in Mauritius they used to produce our ‘This is what a feminist looks like’ T-shirt conforms to ethical standards. ‘We have been particularly pleased to receive evidence that 100% of workers are paid above the government-mandated minimum wage and all workers are paid according to their skills and years of service. The standard working week is 45 hours, and workers are compensated (at a higher rate of pay) for any overtime worked… ‘An audit into the CMT factory was carried out in October 2014 by an independent not-for-profit organisation and this did not reveal any material concerns on the working conditions, the welfare or the health and safety of workers.’
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