In Britain, a women’s rights charity behind a t-shirt campaign, which is now caught up in controversy over claims the products were made in "sweatshop" conditions, has said it will order the clothes be withdrawn from sale if the reports are proven.
The t-shirts, proudly worn by Labour leader Ed Miliband, Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg and Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman proclaiming their feminist credentials, are made by women being paid just 62p an hour, the Mail on Sunday reported.
The paper said its investigation had found the t-shirts with the slogan ‘This is what a feminist looks like’ were being produced on a factory on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius where the women machinists sleep 16 to a room.
Fashion retailer Whistles, which sells the garments for £45 (€57) each, described the allegations as “extremely serious” and said it would urgently investigate.
The t-shirts hit the headlines last week when Mr Miliband and Mr Clegg posed in them for photographs for Elle magazine as part of a campaign by the Fawcett Society — which receives all the profits — to promote women’s rights.
After David Cameron refused repeated requests to join them, Ms Harman, then wore one at Prime Minister’s Questions in an attempt to embarrass him.
Dr Eva Neitzert, of the Fawcett Society, said they had been assured by Whistles that the t-shirts were produced by Compagnie Mauricienne de Textile, (CMT) to “ethical standards”. “At this stage, we require evidence to back up the claims,” she said.
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