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Unpaid garment workers send message via Zara tags

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Turkish garment workers, in an arduous attempt to communicate directly with consumers, wrote messages and sewed them onto Zara tags.

”I made this item you are going to buy, but didn’t get paid for it.”

The heartbreaking message, “I made this item you are going to buy, but didn’t get paid for it,” was found inside an item of clothing in a Zara store. The message is a surefire sign that the textile industry hasn’t made any major advancements since the Rana Plaza disaster or since sustainability in fashion became the hot topic du jour.

As was reported by the Associated Press, garment workers who were outsourced a portion of a production order to sew tags inside clothing were employed by former Turkish manufacturer Bravo.

The campaigners say the manufacturer owes its seamstresses and workers three months of pay and severance allowance after it suddenly closed down in July, 2016.

This isn’t the first time garment workers sewed messages in garments as a cry for help. In June 2014 British shoppers were left shocked after discovering "call for help" labels from workers stitched inside dresses bought at value chain Primark.

Two women were alleged to have found the hand-made notes sewn into bargain tops costing just 10 pounds, bought from the same Primark outlet in Swansea, Wales.

The news of the underpaid workers comes just two weeks after Zara’s parent company Inditex met with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) with the aim of enhancing labour conditions at all levels of the garment sector value chain.

During the meeting Inditex Chairman Pablo Isla made a firm commitment to the ILO conventions, on which Zara’s Code of Conduct for Manufacturers and Suppliers is based, and to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, especially those related to decent working conditions.

Isla further highlighted the close nature of Inditex working together with the ILO in Turkey, although the garment workers who wrote these messages will beg to differ.

Inditex has yet to comment on the incident.

turkish garment workers