Unpaid Turkish workers send messages via Zara labels

‘I made this item you are going to buy, but I didn't get paid for it’

The dark side of the textile industry is all too familiar – especially following events since Rana Plaza, where 1,134 people were killed in a factory collapse. While tragedies like this are good at bringing attention to the problem, it is sadly one that still exists. If you need evidence, look no further than Istanbul where shoppers in a Zara store have found tags in items of clothing with messages from Turkish workers.

Reading “I made this item you are going to buy, but I didn't get paid for it”, Associated Press reported that the workers are from an outsource of Zara and have been going into the shops to put the tags inside clothing. The tags by Turkish workers say that they were employed by the manufacturer Bravo, which closed down overnight. The campaign says that the manufacturer owes them three months of pay and severance allowance.

This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. In 2014, garment workers for Primark also sent messages via clothing found in stores in Wales and Ireland that read: “Forced to work exhausting hours” and “degrading sweatshop conditions.” The high street store later said these messages were just a hoax but more turned up months later.