Banana Republic, opened its first store in the UK yesterday in Regent Street, London, amidst allegations of promoting unfair working conditions. According to the charity War on Want, workers in its Indian factory are forced to work 70 hours a week for 15p an hour, often receiving only half payments for overtime.
Even worse, the Guardian claims that workers are verbally abused if they dare complain, and petty disputes often result in docked pay.
The fashion giant which is owned by Gap Inc, responded swiftly stating that it would investigate the claims and maintained that all its factories (even those that it doesn’t own) are regularly checked for compliance with the company’s ethical code. Whether the allegations will affect sales in its UK flagship store is questionable.
The Independent asked shoppers who made the effort to visit the Regent street branch their thoughts about the situation and received mixed views.
Coincidentally, Banana Republic has confirmed it will be launching an eco friendly line of clothing made from organic cotton and bamboo.[Source]