Beyoncé’s Ivy Park clothing line is currently facing criticism as a result of a report from The Sun that details alleged “sweatshop” working conditions at Ivy Park factories in Sri Lanka. According to the report, factory workers earn just over $6 per day and are forced to work 10-hour shifts for six days every week. The report alleges that workers—who are mostly young women—live in cramped boarding houses near the factory and can barely afford basic necessities.
“This is a form of sweatshop slavery,” Jakub Sobik of Anti-Slavery International told The Sun. “There are a number of elements here that tick the boxes in terms of slavery, the low pay, restriction of women’s movement at night, and locking them in.”
The wages workers are reportedly receiving are technically not illegal. The Sun report points out that Ivy Park factory workers earn roughly 18,500 rupees per month, which is above the country’s monthly minimum wage of 13,500 rupees. However, experts estimate that a living wage in Sri Lanka is about 43,000 rupees per month, more than double what workers are making. The Sun report also stands in contrast to the statements Beyoncé has made about the clothing line, which she said was designed to “support and inspire women who understand that beauty is more than your physical appearance.”
In a statement to Vogue UK, a representative for Ivy Park said “Ivy Park has a rigorous ethical trading programme. 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. We expect our suppliers to meet our code of conduct and we support them in achieving these requirements.”
A representative for Beyoncé did not immediately respond to Complex’s request for comment.