the desperate zara factory workers who hid cries for help in clothing may be compensated

Notes pleading for help, found in clothes purchased by customers in Istanbul, may ultimately ensure the Turkish factory employees are paid.

by Briony Wright
06 November 2017, 7:18am

Zara, via Wikicommons.

Over the past week, a number of people buying clothes from Zara in Istanbul have reported finding notes hidden in their garments from factory workers who allegedly remain unpaid for their labour. It has been reported that the notes carry messages such as, "I made this item you are going to buy, but I didn't get paid for it." The notes appear to form a cry for help from a section of the community who lack a strong voice in regards to their own labour standards.

The problem appears to be linked to a third-party manufacturer, Bravo Tekstil, who closed down without warning, reportedly leaving workers owed several months wages.

In response to the allegations, Zara's parent company Inditex have agreed to establish a hardship fund for the workers affected by the factory's closure. An Inditex spokesperson explained to Refinery29 that, "This hardship fund would cover unpaid wages, notice indemnity, unused vacation, and severance payments of workers that were employed at the time of the sudden shutdown of their factory in July 2016. We are committed to finding a swift solution for all of those impacted."

All might end well, but the fast fashion company remains dogged by complaints of copyright infringement from independent designers. Last year, a biracial employee was told that her braids were "unprofessional."

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