That’s not very ethical, Stella! McCartney’s new clothing range is made in an Indonesian factory by workers paid just 98p an hour – even though she campaigns for fair wages
- Stella McCartney’s luxury sportswear line with Adidas is made in Indonesia
- Workers earn on average £188 a month, far below recommended pay level
- Miss McCartney, 46, is one of few fashion designers never to use leather or fur
She refuses to use leather and fur in her clothes and campaigns against cheap labour.
But it seems Stella McCartney may need to check whether the Asian factories that manufacture her upmarket designs match up to her high ethical standards.
The 46-year-old outlines her ‘Respect for People’ mission statement on her website, claiming that ‘everybody should earn a fair wage’.
However, her luxury sportswear line with Adidas is made in Indonesia by workers who earn on average £188 a month, the company has confirmed.
Stella McCartney’s new fitness line for Adidas (pictured) is made in an Indonesian factory where workers are paid just 98p an hour
It is far below the pay level recommended by the Asia Floor Wage Alliance, which last year recommended that the living wage for Indonesia should be 5.886million rupiah (£312) per month (pictured: an Adidas factory)
This is equivalent to just 98p an hour if they work the South East Asian country’s typical 48-hour factory week.
And it is far below the pay level recommended by the Asia Floor Wage Alliance, which last year recommended that the living wage for Indonesia should be 5.886million rupiah (£312) per month.
Miss McCartney, 46, received an OBE for her services to fashion in 2013 and is now worth an estimated £57million.
A vegetarian, the daughter of Sir Paul McCartney is one of the few fashion designers never to use leather or fur.
The mother-of-four opened an ‘eco-friendly’ store in central London in June, complete with rocks filled with dirty puddles and moss.
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The store has a section dedicated to Miss McCartney’s pricey sportswear, including £60 tank tops, £55 shorts, £120 leggings and jackets costing £140. The fashion designer’s celebrity fans include the Duchess of Sussex, Beyonce, Melania Trump and Amal Clooney and her close friends, the supermodels Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell.
But this latest development may come as a shock to many of her loyal buyers.
Asad Rehman, executive director of War on Want, a charity working with garment workers internationally, said: ‘Ms McCartney’s customers will be shocked to learn she is paying poverty wages and racking up huge profits.
‘Her brand income went up 42 per cent to £7million this year, after just a 30 per cent increase in sales. That points to rising exploitation.
‘The garment industry is only able to rack up huge profits because its business model is built on paying poverty wages – mainly to women working in the global South.
Miss McCartney, pictured, is one of the few fashion designers never to use leather or fur and outlines her ‘Respect for People’ mission statement on her website, claiming that ‘everybody should earn a fair wage’
‘Even “ethical” high street brands, such as Stella McCartney’s, refuse to practise what they preach. PR exercises, voluntary codes and warm words do little to fix the problem.’ Dominique Muller, policy director of anti-sweatshop charity Labour Behind The Label, said Miss McCartney should be aware that workers making her sportswear were being paid such a low wage.
She said: ‘I think she is aware of the practices of the majority of the fashion industry, low-cost fashion and how damaging it can be, so I think it’s important that she fulfills her promises to her customers and to her brand by making sure she follows the full supply chain of any brand collaboration.’
Jay Kerr, from No Sweat, a campaign group which calls for the protection of sweatshop labourers, said companies like Adidas that spend a fortune on celebrity endorsements had ‘an ethical obligation’ to ensure the people making their clothes were paid a Living Wage. He said: ‘Adidas made operating profits of €2.1billion [£1.87billion] last year. It can afford a massive dividend and a €3billion [£2.67billion] shares buy-back. It can afford decent pay.
‘Workers like these in Indonesia make these profits for the sportswear giants.’
A spokesman for Miss McCartney declined to comment, calling the issue an ‘Adidas supply chain matter’ and directed comment instead to Adidas. A spokesman for Adidas Sport said the company did not determine the wages suppliers paid their employees, but claimed the average monthly take-home wage in Indonesia was ‘well above’ the current minimum wage. He said: ‘The current average take-home pay for workers employed at Adidas’ contract suppliers in Indonesia currently is Rp 3,558,769 [£188] per month, plus Rp 431,548 [£23] in non-wage benefits (such as social insurance).
‘On a Purchasing Parity basis this is the equivalent of £572.52 in monthly income in the UK, plus benefits. Mandated minimum wages in Indonesia vary across the country, but on average are Rp 2,264,676 [£120] per month. Adidas requires employers to pay at least the remuneration required by law or negotiated in a collective bargaining process.’
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