High street fashion factory workers paid as little as €3.50 an hour


Fast fashion from high street stores is the perfect way to get your new season fashion fix on a budget, but an investigation has revealed that factories supplying some of the most popular high street shops in the UK may be taking advantage of their workers. 

An undercover investigation by Channel 4's Dispatches claims workers at these factories are paid less than the national minimum wage.

The documentary was broadcast this week, and it alleged that some workers are paid £3–£3.50 (€3.50-€4.08) an hour at three UK factories, some of which were sub-contracted to supply River Island, Missguided and New Look.

Newstalk heard from a River Island spokesperson who told them that the factory featured in the show was, "removed from our Approved Factory List in February 2016, following two failed River Island audits. Suppliers were informed not to use this factory for any further River Island orders."

"We are investigating this issue and will take appropriate action. Sub-contracting without River Island’s approval is a serious breach of our Terms and Conditions," the statement continued.

River Island are currently undertaking appropriate measures to investigate the matter further. 

"New Look is committed to respecting and improving the lives of workers right across our global business and supply chains, so we are extremely concerned by the outcome of this investigation," said a statement from the popular store. 

Missguided said they have instantly ended production in the factory that was named in the documentary. 

One of the factories at fault told the undercover Dispatchers reporter that competition from overseas was the cause of the underpaying.

"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."

Here's to hoping that factories like this get shut down for good.