April 17, 2024

Three Global Fashion Companies To Compensate Mauritius Workers

Three global fashion companies have agreed to collectively pay US $420,593 to compensate apparel workers in Mauritius after the publication of an undercover investigation report into labour rights abuse.

The three companies include PVH, owner of Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein; Second Clothing and UK based brand Barbour.

Transparentem, a US non-profit organisation dedicated to studying labour rights did the undercover investigation in various Mauritius garment factories which stitch fashion clothing for these brands.

The report, titled ‘I Came Here with So Many Dreams”: Labor Rights Abuses & the Need for Change in Mauritius’ Apparel Factories’, examined working conditions at five Mauritian garment factories.

The investigation mainly centered on migrant workers from other countries and the organisation gathered data and insights through interviews with 83 employees in 2022 and 2023.

Transparentem outlined the discovery of numerous indicators of forced labour, a practice categorised as modern slavery by the United Nations’ International Labour Organisation.

The report also highlights several human rights violations, including unlawful recruitment fees paid by workers, deceptive practices, intimidation, and poor living conditions.

After uncovering these conditions at five manufacturing facilities in fall 2022, Transparentem reached out to 18 buyers associated with the suppliers to share their findings and suggestions.

These included the likes of Asos, Armani, Boden, PVH, Diesel, and the Foschini Group, the parent company of British brands Whistles and Hobbs.

PVH, Second Clothing, and Barbour agreed to compensate workers at REAL Garments to cover the illegal recruitment fees they incurred after conducting independent evaluations of the factory conditions.

PVH committed to pay a $390,456, Barbour agreed to $19,523, while Second Clothing committed for $10,614.

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