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British factories ‘paid workers £3 an hour to make clothes for River Island and New Look’

Jen MillsRiver Island and New Look sweatshops

Clothes were tagged for River Island (Picture: Channel 4)
Workers in Britain were paid just £3 an hour to make clothes for high street shops including River Island and New Look, according to undercover footage.
Channel 4’s Dispatches sent an undercover reporter to Leicester, where he was offered less than half of the national living wage at three factories.
At one of them, Fashion Square Ltd, contracted to make clothes for River Island, he was paid £3 per hour to pack and press dresses.
When Belal asked why he was being paid so little, the boss replied: ‘We don’t get paid much for our clothes, and we need to compete with China and Bangladesh… If we pay everyone £10 or £6 then we will make a loss.’
Fashion Square denied anyone was paid less than minimum wage. River Island said they stopped using them in February last year after two failed audits.
River Island and New Look sweatshops
One of the factories in Britain (Picture: Channel 4)
River Island and New Look sweatshops
Tazeen Ahmad presents the documentary (Picture: Channel 4)
Belal also worked at another factory for £3.50 between October and November last year, making yellow jumpers for by New Look intended to be sold for £19.99.
New Look had actually ordered them from a firm called TS Knitwear Ltd, but they had subcontracted the work.
In total, he was paid £110 for the week,
New Look said they had ‘terminated our relationship with TS Knitwear with immediate effect’ while TS Knitwear said it has ‘clear ethical guidelines’.
In one of the factories, Belal filmed health and safety failings where fire safety standards were not being met.
‘Undercover: Britain’s Cheap Clothes’ will be screened tonight at 8pm.

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