Pretty much everything Beyoncé does gets the attention of the world, but this year’s release of her clothing line “Ivy Park” received a pronounced amount of scrutiny, and not all of it good. Beyoncé and the collection’s partner Topshop were both accused of severely mistreating workers in a damning article published by The Sun. In response, Ivy Park has hit back at the criticism by doubling down on its complete innocence.
The Ivy Park line was launched not merely to provide a line of empowering sportswear for women, but to enable broad access with its low price point. But the article from The Sun argues that this affordable cost comes at, well, a price for the workers at its Sri Lankan manufacturer. Among the statistics it brings up are that its workers (mostly young women from rural villages) earn about $6 a day, work 60 hour work weeks and are often expected to work Saturday’s and overtime.
Ivy Park has refuted all of these claims. The company has stated in a press release that it has “a rigorous ethical trading program,” and that it “works very closely with our suppliers and their factories to ensure compliance.”
Mistreatment of laborers is an issue that has plagued the fashion industry and makes for common tabloid fodder. Nevertheless, Topshop’s Sir Philip Green is currently under investigation for the collapse of another of his retail companies, BHS. Whether the accusations against Ivy Park have merit or are nothing but publicity remains to be seen, but given Beyoncé’s pull on the marketplace, it should do little to affect its sales.
"Ivy Park" is available in select retailers and through Topshop.
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