Ahhh, Zara, home of that fly black coat you’ve been eyeing for the winter months. But hold up! Before you throw that new outerwear in your online shopping cart, you should probably know the brand’s workers aren’t getting paid. At least that’s what they’ve reportedly been telling customers via messages sewn into merchandise.
According to The Associated Press, employees in Turkey have been sewing tags into clothing for shoppers that read: “I made this item you are going to buy, but I didn’t get paid for it.” As People notes, the tags identify the workers as employees of Bravo Tekstil, an outsourced manufacturer that reportedly “closed overnight” while owing workers three months of pay and severance allowance.
*Cue Rihanna’s “B**** Better Have My Money.”*
As The Independent notes, this isn’t the first time Zara has made headlines for unfavorable reasons. “The Spanish chain has previously been taken to task for causing environmental damage, ripping off young designers, and overlooking poor factory conditions,” the outlet reported on Saturday. It was also reportedly sued for “dismal working conditions” and accused of exploiting Syrian refugees as young as 15 years old during a 2016 sweatshop scandal.
“It’s not enough to say ‘we didn’t know about this, it’s not our fault,’” Danielle McMullan of the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre said of the Syria controversy in October 2016. “They have a responsibility to monitor and to understand where their clothes are being made.”
According to Forbes, Zara operates more than 2,200 stores around the world, and the brand carries an estimated value of $11.3 billion.
No word on when the company plans to pay up, but in the meantime, CASSIUS has reached out to the Inditex Group—which owns Zara—for a statement. We’ll circle back with any updates.