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Beyoncé and the Sweatshop

By Melissa Gutierrez
Posted On May 17, 2016
Beyoncé and the Sweatshop

Apparently Beyoncé’s famous battle cry against every cheating and lying scumbag boyfriend, “don’t you ever for a second get to thinking you’re irreplaceable,” applies to her workers too.

It has been reported that Beyoncé contracts with overseas clothing companies that use sweatshop labor to manufacture her sportswear line.

Queen B’s new business venture, Ivy Park gym gear, is sold by Top Shop, the high street fashion retailer owned by Sir Philip Green. The 200-piece sportswear collection was launched in April with pieces priced between $30 to $200.

Photo Credit: @wearivypark Instagram
Photo Credit: @wearivypark Instagram

Beyoncé has said the goal for her sportswear line is to “support and inspire women.” However, I daresay that the Sri Lankan seamstresses earning $6.17 a day feel anything but supported and inspired.

A 22-year-old seamstress told Sun she earned $125.30 a month, which is half the Sri Lankan average wage, for a nine and three-quarter hour shift, five days a week, plus overtime. The young seamstress shares a 10-foot by 10-foot room with her 19-year-old sister, each pays $27.08 a month for rent, and do not have their own kitchen or shower. Instead, they share a shower block with the men employed by the factory.

Jakub Sobik, from the charity Anti-Slavery International, said that “the low pay, restriction of women’s movement at night, and locking them in” is a form of sweatshop slavery.

At the launch of her clothing line, Beyoncé shared that “true beauty is in the health of our minds, hearts, and bodies.” Bey, you’re talking loud, but not doing much for the Sri Lankan seamstresses toiling in your sweatshops.