British contemporary brand Whistles came under fire this week for allegedly selling sweatshop-made feminist T-shirts. Reports claimed that the tops, reading, “This is what a feminist looks like,” were made by underpaid workers in Mauritius at 99 cents (62p) an hour. The Fawcett Society, a UK women’s rights activism group jumped at the opportunity to investigate these accusations. After all, what kind of feminist company would pay its workers so little, knowing the struggles of women all over the world to close the gender pay gap?
The Daily Mail says Fawcett conducted an investigation and found that (thankfully) the T-shirts, which were made in conjunction with ELLE magazine, were indeed not produced under the alleged shoddy conditions. “We have been particularly pleased to receive evidence that 100% of workers are paid above the government-mandated minimum wage and all workers are paid according to their skills and years of service,” the organization said. “The standard working week is 45 hours, and workers are compensated (at a higher rate of pay) for any overtime worked, there is a high retention of staff and employees are offered training and development.”
Now, this assessment is based off the evidence Whistles offered in regards to the accusations, so Fawcett will do another probe to verify that the information they’ve been given is completely correct. But for now, it seems that the whole situation was much ado about nothing. We’ll be watching closely to see if Fawcett was correct in its initial findings. After all, besides feeling sick at the thought of garment workers being taken advantage of in such a way, we would hate to have to boycott one of our favorite brands.
So, feminists across the globe, feel free to shill out the $85!
[via Daily Mail]