Zara investigated over claims of fashion ‘sweat shops’ and child labour

Investigations are underway at Zara, as factories in Argentina that produce items for the fashion chain allegedly have workplace conditions that were degrading and included children in their workers. Investigators found that labourers were mostly of Bolivian descent and were subject to 16 hour working days without rest periods and were not allowed to leave the factory without securing a permission to do so.

La Ameda Charity’s spokesman stated that workers were forced to begin operations of the factory at 7am in the morning and were not allowed breaks in between work periods that spanned 11 hours. The spokesman continued to say that the workers were forced to stay in congested quarters after working, and working conditions included poor lighting and improper ventilation.

Profits have soared for the fashion chain Zara in the last 3 years, its popularity attributed to the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton’s, preference for the clothing line. Inditex, owned by the third richest man in the world Amancio Ortega, owns the popular retail chain that caters to high profile individuals such as the Duchess and her sister, Pippa, as well as Samantha Cameron.

Clothes that were being sewn in factories with unsuitable work conditions included the store’s line for men that are sold all over the world, including stores in Britain. Argentina’s government agency that raided three Zara factories stated that the factory workers were unregistered and lived in terrible living spaces right where they worked.

This isn’t the first time that Zara has faced accusations for child slavery, a factory that operated without a license in Brazil that produced clothes for the fashion line was raided back in 2011. Zara claims that the working conditions and the lack of a license for their factories to operate came as a surprise to them, and that their Argentina office did not notify them of the state of their workers.