Beyonce’s New Athletic wear ‘Ivy Park’ Accused Of Using Slave Labour – True or False?

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Beyonce’s New Athletic wear ‘Ivy Park’ Accused Of Using Slave Labour – True or False? 

It seems that more than usual, the name ‘Beyonce’ has been on our lips. Be it about her new album Lemonade, which features scandalous songs about cheating partners, or regarding the controversial allegations about her new sportswear range Ivy Park which is currently being sold in Topshop.

It was claimed by The Sun on Sunday that B’s brand has been using sweatshop labourers from the MAS Holdings factory in Sri Lanka, who reportedly survive on £4.30 a day (18,500 rupees a month). This amount, a source stated, is just over half of the average Sri Lankan wage which is already very difficult to survive on.

Beyonce claimed that the aim for her new collection was to support and inspire women who understand that beauty is more than your physical appearance’, an aim that seems to come in direct contradiction with the fact that the factory employs a female majority. This begs the question of whether it is helping these women by employing them to begin with, or whether it is simple exploitation.

B’s collaboration with Topshop comes after recent information regarding Philip Green (the founder of the Arcadia Group), a retail company which includes Topshop, Topman, Wallis, Evans, Burton, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins, Outfit and formerly BHS, which exposed his role in the £571 million demise of the BHS department store. So it could be argued that these claims made by The Sun about Ivy Park are just riding on the wave of controversy sparked by the BHS scandal.

Philip Green - photograph courtesy of

Philip Green – photograph courtesy of

In fact, the director of Anti-Slavery International, Aidan McQuade stated that the MAS Holdings Company, with which the athletic wear is being created, ‘has a reputation for paying above minimum wage and for empowering women in the supply chain which is presumably why Ivy Park chose the company’. Furthermore he stated that ‘those interviewed in the piece may come from a subcontracted part of business or be the result of some internal corruption and this is something which is worthy of further scrutiny’.

It seems that there is no doubt that corruption is present but from which side of the Atlantic it originates is yet to be determined. Although more investigation may need to take place, it seems that the question of whether The Sun’s claims are either true or false will never really receive a satisfying answer – however, I feel that the question remains just as important.

Beyonce’s New Athletic wear ‘Ivy Park’ Accused Of Using Slave Labour – True or False?  


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Written by Amalia Mytilineou

Amalia is an English Literature student currently living in London. With a love of all things couture, she always has something to say about the latest fashion, art or film event.

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