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The Spice Girls have responded to their 'gender justice' T-shirts being manufactured in 'inhumane conditions'

‘They are deeply shocked and appalled.’

A REPRESENTATIVE FOR The Spice Girls has released a statement in light of reports that merchandise designed by the girl group in order to raise funds for Comic Relief’s ‘gender justice’ campaign were manufactured in ‘inhuman conditions’.

Spice Girls announcement Source: PA Wire/PA Images

According to an investigative report in The Guardian, a machinist named Salma*, who works at a plant in Bangladesh producing garments with the slogan ‘I Wanna Be a Spice Girl’, shed light on the conditions staff are expected to work under.

“Suppose someone is given a production target, but she couldn’t hit her goal,” Salma explained through a translator. “The chances are high that she’d get verbally scolded very badly. She might even get called inside the office of the production manager and get verbally abused.”

Providing further insight into the conditions in which workers are paid 35p an hour, Salma added:

Many workers don’t want to do the overtime, sometimes they even cry when the management make them do overtime forcefully. There was a worker I knew who was pregnant and she was forced to do night duty on top of her regular hours and overtime.

Responding to the reports, a representative for The Spice Girls said: “The band are grateful that this information has been brought to their attention.”

As to be expected, they are deeply shocked and appalled by these claims and have demanded a full explanation from Represent – the company they employed to handle this.

“The band intend to demand that Represent donate their profits from this initiative to localised campaigns in Bangladesh,” the representative asserted.

Conic Relief have posted a statement pertaining to the The Guardian’s report, stating: “Comic Relief is shocked and concerned by the allegations in The Guardian. No one should have to work under the conditions described in the piece.”

To be very clear, both Comic Relief and the Spice Girls carried out ethical sourcing checks on the supplier Represent told us they would be using for production of the T-shirts. Represent then switched the supplier to Stanley/ Stella, who used the factory where this alleged mistreatment occurred, without telling either the Spice Girls or Comic Relief. 

According to The Guardian, Represent have acknowledged the controversy, taken ‘full responsibility, and intend to refund customers upon request.

* Name changed to protect identity.

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About the author:

Niamh McClelland

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