BEYONCE'S Ivy Park label has come under fire this week following accusations that the collection is produced under "sweat-shop conditions". The range, which the singer launched as a joint venture with Arcadia owner Philip Green, is created in Sri Lankan factories where workers are paid £4.30 a day, according to an investigation by The Sun.
Several workers from the factory told their story to the newspaper, revealing that they worked almost 10 hours a day with a 30-minute lunch break, and that MAS Holdings - the factory where they are based - pays them in the region of 18,500 rupees (£87.26) a month. This is above the legal minimum wage in the country, which is 13,500 rupees a month - although campaigners asserted that the true living wage is nearer 43,000 rupees.
"This is a form of sweat-shop slavery," Jakub Sobik, of Anti-Slavery International, told The Sun. "There are a number of elements here that tick the boxes in terms of slavery, the low pay, restriction of women's movement at night and locking them in. 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. They should be replaced by independent inspections."
"Ivy Park has a rigorous ethical trading programme," the company told us today in response to the claims. "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. We expect our suppliers to meet our code of conduct and we support them in achieving these requirements."