Login Register

Second shopper comes forward with 'forced labour' label as Primark responds to claims

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: June 25, 2014

  • A second shopper has come forward with concerns after this label was found in a Primark top in 2013.

Comments (13)

UPDATE: A second shopper has come forward, claiming that a label which reads '"Degrading" sweatshop conditions' was sewn into a Primark top bought in Swansea in 2013.

The size ten polka dot top, bought by Rebecca Jones, is different to the floral dress bought by Rebecca Gallagher but the label appears to be of a similar style, also sewn along the seam.

Primark is now investigating both labels.

High Street chain Primark has responded to claims that a dress bought in Swansea had a label which read ‘Forced to work exhausting hours’.

Rebecca Gallagher from Gowerton claims she bought a floral dress from the Whitewalls branch, only to find the label sewn inside.

The 25-year-old has said she will never wear the dress again, out of fear that it was made by exploitive labour.

"I dread to think that my summer top may be made by some exhausted person toiling away for hours in some sweatshop abroad,” she said.

Responding, a spokesman for the budget brand has told fashion magazine Vogue, "We find it very strange that this has come to light so recently, given that the dress was on sale more than a year ago, with no other incidents of this kind relating to this dress.

"We would be grateful if the customer would give us the dress, so we can investigate how the additional label became attached and whether there are issues that need to be looked into."

The high street chain assured that it has a code of conduct in place, to ensure products are made in good working conditions and all employees are treated fairly.

MORE: A woman from Northern Ireland has also come forward, with a 'cry for help' note, handwritten in Chinese, apparently found in a pair of Primark trousers.

Read more from South Wales Evening Post

Do you have something to say? Leave your comment here...

max 4000 characters


  • TaipeiSteve  |  June 26 2014, 4:48AM

    Nice_Nails: In the garment industry, workers' wages actually constitute a small percentage of the overall production costs. It is pure greed that prevents multinationals from giving their employers a decent salary, and while I agree that the countries where the exploitative industries are located can (and should) play a bigger role in seeking better conditions and work rates for their people, the governments are often corrupt and so are ineffective in this respect. Contrarily, customers boycotting companies that are known to exploit their workers can have a major effect on changing the policy of the company. As I stated above, multinationals are not charities. They have no interest in workers' well being and focus only on generating greater profit for their board members. Creating bad publicity followed by a drop in sales is therefore an effective means to force change. And, no, the cost of garments will not rise as a result. It will just mean a little less profit for the board members –one less Merc in the garage and a beachfront chalet in Bali instead of a five start resort in St Moritz.

    |   4
  • nice_nails  |  June 25 2014, 8:52PM

    TaipeiSteve I agree with what you are saying, but stopping buying the garments will not help the workers, the government of third world india is to blame and the EU doing deals with that government isn't helpiong

    |   -5
  • razorblaze44  |  June 25 2014, 4:51PM

    I think this is another fake story by a white person seeking publicity...that's my opinion of this story

    |   -6
  • tomhandley946  |  June 25 2014, 1:21PM

    Out of all the primarks in the country, it looks like Swansea is the only one with these messages, and it doesn't take a detective from the CID to realise that the writing is identical, and if the sweat shop worker had the education to write and spell far better than most of the British youths in this country, then they wouldn't be working in a sweatshop they would be running it.

    |   3
  • TaipeiSteve  |  June 25 2014, 7:08AM

    Nice-Nails: Yes, sweatshops lift the employer above the starvation line. However, sweatshops are very similar to the prostitution racket in many underdeveloped countries, as both kinds of workers engage in their professions as a means to take themselves and their families out of dire poverty. Of course, the prostitutes and the factory workers could keep their family in abject poverty, and so it could be argued that it is their own chose to take the work. In reality, though, there is often little or no option. So, while this kind of work cannot be defined as slave labour, it is definitely extremely exploitative. In fact, the owners of sweatshops have often been compared to people who arrive at the site of a natural disaster selling clothes and medicines at hugely inflated prices. Of course, the people have the option to buy their goods or not, but really there is no choice. Legally, of course, the businessmen can sell their goods at any price they wish, but is 'money at all costs' really the foundation on which that we want to base our society. Yes, such a philosophy might make us temporarily materially wealthier, but we will be morally bankrupt, and, I suggest, less happy as a society I have personally visited sweatshops and I know the conditions and also the family backgrounds of many of the labours. Believe me, it is not a pretty scenario.

    |   2
  • nice_nails  |  June 24 2014, 9:01PM

    Are they quotation marks above the word degrading

    |   -7
  • nice_nails  |  June 24 2014, 8:59PM

    Take away the sweatshops and you take away the only source of income lots of these families have and how will they feed themselves then. ....As for labeling the garments how on earth will that help the conditions of the sweatshop workers

    |   -4
  • abercanaid  |  June 24 2014, 6:28PM

    An easy way to solve the problem close down all the sweat shops making the primark goods, make them unemployed, and reopen them all in UK!

    |   -4
  • davewills72  |  June 24 2014, 6:28PM

    tony_1980,totally agree with you.i will say something,if i could write and spell so perfectly i would like to be educated in a sweat shop!(tongue in cheek)

    |   8
  • Tony_1980  |  June 24 2014, 5:28PM

    Right, so let me get this straight... A) We have two instances of these labels supposedly sewn into Primark tops that were both found in Swansea primark stores and no-where else. That's a massive co-incidence considering the size of Primark's logistical chain. B) The two girls concerned are both around the same age (mid 20's) which again isn't surprising giving Primark's demographic but I'm somewhat perplexed that the two instances of these sewn-in labels were found by two girls of the same age. C) The label writing is very neat and in perfect English with no spelling errors which would indicate that the person concerned has an excellent command of the language which wouldn't fit in with the socio-economic background of someone who would work in a 'sweat-shop' factory. D) Open source research would indicate that these two girls live (or used to at least) less than a mile apart. How 'co-incidental' is that? E) Primark is dirt cheap. Where do they think the clothes are made? I personally don't like the place as I think the clothes are of a poor standard but my wife loves it. F) My spider senses are telling me that this is someone or some organisation (I'd hazard a guess but I don't want to libel anyone) is doing this in an attempt to blackmail Primark under the guise of 'corporate responsibility'.

    |   22