New York, Dec 16 (ANI): Victoria Secret was using fibre picked from farms that relied on abused child labourers, a shocking new report has claimed.
“Good for women. Good for the children who depend on them” was the tagline that the lingerie giant had used to market a special undergarments line in 2008 that the company boasted was made from “fair-trade” cotton.
The company even went to the extent of boasting that each purchase improved the lives of women and children in Burkina Faso, the destitute African nation from where the cotton was picked.
But according to Bloomberg News, about 25 million of the garments produced for a Valentine’s Day line in 2009 under that campaign were made from cotton plucked in the searing sun by undernourished children who were beaten with branches.
Much of the report is based on a 2008 never-before-published study indicating widespread abuse and tales of horror throughout the farming region that Victoria’s Secret either ignored or never saw, the New York Post reported.
The abuse has been described in detail by a 13-year-old girl named Clarisse Kambire, a foster child who ends up in the care of an abusive farmer who, like most of his neighbours, is too poor to afford the ox and plow best suited for the gruelling work of field preparation.
“It’s very, very hard and he forces me to do it,” Kambire told Bloomberg News.
Tammy Roberts Myers, a spokeswoman for Victoria’s Secret parent company Limited Brands Inc. said that the executives were outraged by the charges.
“We take these allegations regarding cotton farming in Burkina Faso very seriously,” Myers said.
“Our standards specifically prohibit child labour. We are vigorously engaging with stakeholders to fully investigate this matter,” she added. (ANI)