Another Primark Shopper Finds Note From a Factory Worker Inside Newly Purchased Pants
U.K. based fast-fashion retailer Primark is having a rough week in terms of press. News broke several days ago that customer Rebecca Gallagher found a note from a factory worker sewn into a dress she purchased from the store for $17. Now another shopper, Nancy Wisínska, has come forward to say she found a similar note in pants she purchased from Primark in June 2011. Looks like Primark has some explaining to do.
Wisínska claims the pants were unworn until recently, which is why she just discovered the note. She posted photos to Facebook and contacted Amnesty International.
According to Amnesty, it reads: "We are prisoners in the Xiang Nan Prison of the Hubei Province in China. Our job inside the prison is to produce fashion clothes for export. We work 15 hours per day and the food we eat wouldn't even be given to dogs or pigs. We work as hard as oxen in the field. We call on the international community to condemn the Chinese government for the violation of our human rights!"
A third Primark customer, Rebecca Jones, also found a note in a dress similar to Gallagher's. Her note read "degrading sweatshop conditions" and, like Gallagher, she called Primark immediately upon making the discovery only to be put on hold and eventually disconnected.
The retailer has admitted to using factory workers at the Rana Plaza factory which collapsed last year causing 1,135 deaths. Primark also released a statement to the BBC that reads:
These three-quarter crop trousers were last ordered by Primark in early 2009 and were last sold in Northern Ireland in October 2009. We find it very strange that this has come to light so recently, given that the trousers were on sale four years ago. We will be contacting the customer to obtain the trousers, so we can investigate how this occurred and whether there are issues which need to be looked into. Nine inspections of the supplier have been carried out by Primark's ethical standards team since 2009. To be clear, no prison or other forced labour of any kind was found during these inspections.
It's off-putting how defensive the Primark statement is given that this is the third incident within one week, although I understand why the company is quick to come to its own defense. Maybe it is possible that the retailer could be unaware of the poor conditions facing the workers in the factories they utilize, but clearly a change needs to be made.