Eight months ago, there was a hullabaloo over Beyoncé using sweatshop labor bordering on slavery to make her ritzy, Ivy League athletic wear. It all died down when her company merely denied it and said their workers are paid more than most workers in Sri Lanka.
So it’s okay?
The clothing line was intended to empower and inspire women.
Beyonce’s new clothing line Ivy Park female clothing is nine months old. The line uses female workers in Sri Lanka making 64 cents an hour.
The values they espouse are “to push the boundaries of athletic wear and to support and inspire women who understand that beauty is more than your physical appearance”.
The women making the garments don’t get to enjoy these privileges after ten hour shifts for six U.S. dollars a day.
The clothing sells from $30 to $265. Sweatbands cost $14.
The seamstresses are also allegedly housed on site in factory-owned boarding house in poor conditions. They don’t have their own kitchen or shower, just a small bedroom. The women share the showers with men and they are scared.
One workers said, “When they talk about women and empowerment this is just for foreigners. They want the foreigners to think everything is OK [at the factory]”.
Ivy Park officials were asked about this and they answered by diverting and refusing to answer directly.
“Ivy Park has a rigorous ethical trading program. 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.”
What does that mean? Apparently, they’re proud of what they do and aren’t going to respond to how they might make this situation better by taking money from their profit to really improve the lives of the oppressed women in Sri Lanka.
One sewing machine operator said that she was unable to survive on her basic wage of 18,500 rupees a month ($126). The newspaper claimed on average seamstresses earn £4.30 a day ($6.23), although acknowledging that workers at the factory were still being paid above the legal minimum wage of 13,500 rupees a month.
These are the same people who want burger flippers to make living wages, but apparently not these women.
Anti-Slavery International says the working conditions described in the original article are typical of the wider garment sector across South East Asia.
“The particular chain in question has a reputation for paying above minimum wage and for empowering women in the supply chain which is presumably why Ivy Park chose the company,” explained Aidan McQuad, the Director of the anti-slavery charity.
The factory these women work in are good by Sri Lanka standards. They’re not good by Beyonce’s alleged ideology, they’re not good for women, they’re not good by American standards.
What hypocrisy from Beyoncé and all the followers who condone this.
The left will say this is why we need a global socialist economy. That should terrify people.
When Kathy Lee Gifford did it, she was pilloried. She didn’t even know it was going on. At 78 cents an hour, they made more than these women in Sri Lanka. It’s not known if the women in Sri Lanka are also abused beyond this or if children work in the factories — no one’s looking.
So much for empowerment.