Shopper finds cry for help stitched in to dress

Rebecca Gallagher, 25, claims that a £10 dress that she purchased from a Primark store in Swansea contained a label reading "forced to work exhausting hours".
Photo / 123RF
Rebecca Gallagher, 25, claims that a £10 dress that she purchased from a Primark store in Swansea contained a label reading "forced to work exhausting hours". Photo / 123RF

British department store, Primark, is poised to investigate after a shopper claimed that she found a label stitched inside a dress drawing attention to exploitative work conditions.

Rebecca Gallagher, 25, claims that a £10 dress that she purchased from a Primark store in Swansea contained a label reading "forced to work exhausting hours". The mother said that the message was written on one of a number of stitched labels which gave Primark addresses in Spain and Ireland along with washing instructions.

"You hear all sorts of stories about people working in sweatshops abroad - it made me so guilty that I can never wear that dress again," she told The South Wales Evening Post.

Ms Gallagher claims that she attempted to call the retailing giant and was "put on hold for 15 minutes before being cut off".

She added: "I dread to think that my summer top may be made by some exhausted person toiling away for hours in some sweatshop abroad."

A spokesman for Primark said: "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 which need to be looked into.

"Primark's Code of Conduct sets out the core principles that suppliers and factories must follow to ensure products are made in good working conditions, and that the people making them are treated decently and paid a fair wage."

It is the latest ethical setback for the retailer since the Rana Plaza factory disaster in 2013 in which more than 1,000 people died in Bangladesh in a tragedy that raised questions about labourers the cut-price clothing for Primark and other Western clothing retailers.

In 2008 a six-month investigation by the BBC's Panorama found that children as young as 11 had been sub-contracted to sew beads and sequins on to Primark tops in India. In the wake of that scandal Primark promised to redouble its efforts to end sweatshop labour, even setting up a website, Ethical Primark.

- Independent

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