Retail giant Primark has claimed that the news of the cry for help labels is a hoax after all. Three people came forward with claims that they received notes from various people about degrading working conditions and exhausting hours. All the claims were fully investigated, while the store spokespeople continued to deny the use of forced labor.
The news of Primark’s labels caused outcry around the United Kingdom, as people rallied together in support for fairer working conditions. At the start of the week, Rebecca Gallagher spoke out about a label found sewn in a pair of £10 trousers from the store, which read “forced to work exhausting hours.” She explained that she found it while looking for the washing instructions, and was appalled at the idea that she had contributed to the slave labor.
Just days later, another woman came forward about a very similar label that she had found. The woman had bought the product from the same dress, suggesting that it could have been from the same person in the third-world country. However, it turned out that the two garments were created in different countries. This was the first sign that the claims were false.
There were mixed reactions from people around the UK. While some were calling for the discount fashion giant to ensure their factory workers were paid a fair wage and had better working conditions, others were certain that this was all a hoax. Those believing it was a hoax argued that making these labels up was not doing anything for the cause to make sure these workers are paid a fair wage.
It turns out that the Primark cry for help labels claims were a hoax after all. The store determined from its investigation that the similarity between the two labels was too big and too coincidental. Had the garments been made in the same place or within a few miles from each other, then it is possible. However, one was made in India and another in Romania.
There is a chance that the first claim was real, and the second woman decided to jump onto the idea that this was a good way of raising awareness. She may have thought that everything for the Swansea store would be made by the same factory. On the other hand, the first one may have been made up and the second one went along with it. There is also the chance that the labels had been sown in just before reaching the Swansea store but after the factory by someone wanting to raise awareness.
A third claim about forced labor has also been determined as a hoax. The third one was about a woman in Belfast who claims to have found a note and ID tag of a Chinese man in a pair of trousers she bought. The note mentioned that the man was a prisoner and he and his fellow inmates were being forced to work long hours. It turned out that the trousers were from a stock that was no longer available in the store. An investigation also found that the factory where the trousers had been made had been inspected regularly, and there was no evidence of forced labor or prisoners working there.
Many people want to see change when it comes to fashion. They want to see the discount fashion stores to make sure their factory employees are paid better and have better conditions. This has led to the labels being found, but it is weakening the fight. The most recent claims of cry for help labels being found are hoaxes after all, according to Primark.
Opinion by Alexandria Ingham