Published May 16, 2016Before she dropped her break-up/make-up album Lemonade, pop deity Beyoncé had the entire internet yass kween-ing over her Ivy Park clothing line. While the athletic Top Shop collaboration was conceived as a way to empower women, however, Ivy Park is now being criticized for its alleged use of sweatshop labour.
The FADER points to an article in the Mirror that investigates just exactly how much Ivy Park's manufacturers are getting paid. It turns out they're making 44p an hour (82 Canadian cents). Or, roughly, one twelfth of a monthly TIDAL subscription.
MAS Holdings is the company responsible for manufacturing the Ivy Park line, and they're not breaking any laws. In Sri Lanka, where the clothing is made, the minimum wage is 13,500 rupees a month (or $260 Canadian — almost enough to buy an Ivy Park jacket). The company is paying their employees roughly twice the minimum wage.
Responding to the criticism, Ivy Park released a statement defending their practices:
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.
MAS Holdings has 74,000 employees, approximately 70 percent of which are women. Ironically, in an interview with Elle last month, Beyoncé addressed the unfair wages that women are paid. "Ask anyone, man or woman, 'Do you want your daughter to have 75 cents when she deserves $1?'" she said. "What do you think the answer would be?"