American singer Beyoncé launched her athleisure apparel line, Ivy Park, in 2016. She owns, manages, and runs it under her management business Parkwood Entertainment. While the brand was geared toward women empowerment, the clothes were ironically made unethically.
Beyonce says she started her Ivy Park female sportswear line to help and empower women. However, the clothes are made in Sri Lanka by women who make only $6.10 daily.
Empower Women Clothing Line by Beyoncé is Linked to Sweatshops in South Asia
Beyoncé says she created her Ivy Park female sportswear collection to support and empower women. According to new findings, a closer look at where and how the clothes are created may indicate the opposite.
The clothing is created by Sri Lank seamstresses who receive as little as US$6.10 daily. According to reports, that figure is more than the legal minimum wage in the country. To make ends meet, the workers, primarily young women from poor rural communities, can only afford to live in boarding homes and work more than 60 hours per week.
One 22-year-old sewing machine operator told us she couldn’t live on her monthly income of 18,500 rupees or a measly $92, which is just over half the Sri Lankan average wage of $173.
She works 10 hours daily from Monday through Friday, with a 30-minute lunch break. She is required to work Saturdays and overtime during the week. The repetitive task entails sewing clothing alongside hundreds of other women.
Speaking at her cramped 100-room boarding house near the factory in Katunayake, close to Colombo airport, she said: All we do is work, sleep, work, sleep.
We don’t have our kitchen or shower. It’s just a small bedroom. We don’t have much extra money, and what we do have, we give to our family, said the farmer’s daughter from a distant village 200 miles away. We have to use the shower room with the men, so we don’t have much privacy. It’s scary, and many of the women are terrified.
Like hundreds of other women working in Sri Lankan garment factories, the sisters were compelled to relocate to find employment. (Source: Insider Fox News)
Did Ivy Park Deny Allegations?
Ivy Park, Beyonce’s athletic line, is responding to allegations that its Sri Lanka factory is a sweatshop.
Ivy Park has a strong ethical trading procedure. We are proud of our ongoing efforts in factory inspections and audits, and our staff worldwide work very closely with our suppliers and their factories to ensure compliance; we expect our suppliers to follow our code of conduct, and we help them in meeting these criteria.Ivy Park Spokesperson
According to WWD, the British tabloid The Sun accused Ivy Park of defrauding its employees by paying them the equivalent of $6.17 per day and compared the wages to the cost of Ivy Park leggings, which can retail for up to $144. Some of Ivy Park’s clothing is made in a MAS Holdings factory in Sri Lanka.
However, the minimum daily salary in Sri Lanka is $2.68, meaning Ivy Park manufacturing workers earn more than double the minimum wage. MAS Holdings bills itself as a corporation with Global Best Practices in Sustainability. (Source: CBS News)