​channel 4 doc exposes uk factories paying workers just £3 an hour to make high street fashion products

A Dispatches episode broadcast tonight will present evidence that UK-based garment workers making products for River Island, New Look, Boohoo and Missguided have been paid less than half of the UK minimum wage.

by Charlotte Gush and i-D Staff
|
23 January 2017, 9:22pm

Channel 4's current affairs series Dispatches will screen an episode tonight presenting evidence that textiles factories in the UK have been paying garment workers less than half of the UK minimum wage of £7.20 per hour.

A Dispatches reporter went undercover at several factories making clothes for high street and online fashion brands including at a company that labelled clothes for River Island, a factory making garments for New Look, and a textiles firm packing clothes for Boohoo and working on garments for Missguided. The reporter was paid as little as £3 an hour at one, £3.25 and £3.50 at others, the programme will say.

Ahead of the programme's screening, the Guardian report that when the undercover journalist told one firm he would usually expect to receive the minimum wage of £7.20 an hour, he was told: "You won't get that here. That's what I'm telling you. We don't get paid much for our clothes, and we need to compete with China and Bangladesh. They can get it cheap there. How will they get it made cheaper here? If we pay everyone £10 or £6 then we will make a loss."

The brands named have responded to the allegations, the Guardian reports, with River Island telling Dispatches that the factory in question had been removed from its approved factory list in February 2016. New Look said the factory in the programme had been subcontracted without their knowledge. Boohoo said they were unaware that the factory was working for one of its approved suppliers. And Missguided says it takes the allegations "very seriously" and has launched an internal investigation.

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Fashion
high street
garment workers