Karen Walker has dismissed comments by Pebbles Hooper, which drew attention to the fashion designer's ethical rating in the Baptist World Aid 2016 Australian Fashion Report.
Hooper, who is the daughter of World fashion designers Denise L'Estrange Corbet and Francis Hooper, posted a message on Twitter last night calling Walker disgusting and linking to the report.
"Karen Walk is disgusting. Charging what u do & flag fly for NZ design when Kmart scores ethically higher than u."
Karen Walker is disgusting. Charging what u do & flag fly for NZ design when Kmart scores ethically higher than uhttps://t.co/0YjWNlBKgl— Pebbles Hooper (@PebblesHooper) May 18, 2016
Walker responded today, saying: "Pebbles Hooper and her social media accounts do not have the best track record for empathy and compassion towards other people and she has a vested interest in a local fashion brand so her latest comments regarding our rating come as no surprise to us."
She said the rating was important to the company and they had volunteered to be included in the report, which scores brands on a variety of factors, including their policies, supply chain, monitoring practises and worker empowerment.
Walker's fashion label received a C rating, while K Mart earned a B grade. Glassons was the only other New Zealand women's-wear brand included in the report, scoring a C+.
Walker said it was disappointing more Australian and New Zealand labels did not take part in the survey.
"Our next step is tracing the origins of every material we use - that is every fabric, button, zip, trim, thread etc. Over the next 12 months, our project is to focus on the traceability of the materials we use by working even more closely with our fabric mills and trims suppliers."
She said they hope to score better in the 2017 survey.
Meanwhile, Hooper is not backing down from her comments, continuing to debate the issue on social media.