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Pretty Little Thing show protest AW22
Photography Holly Falconer

Protesters assemble outside Molly-Mae’s not so pretty little runway show

As the PLT #girlboss reminded us, we all have 24 hours in a day – so a group of fashion activists used a couple of theirs to advocate for fair wages, less waste, and safe working conditions

As Molly-Mae Hague reminded us in true Maggie Thatcher fashion last month, we’ve all got 24 hours in a day – and last night, while many of us were likely slobbing on the sofa instead of hustling like we damn well should have been, the former Love Islander turned bonafide #girlboss used one of hers to stage her first ever Pretty Little Thing runway show. 

Kicking off LFW AW22 – albeit unofficially, after the BFC declined to give the fast fashion giant a spot on its schedule – Hague sent a collection of standard PLT fare out for the new season. Think oversized tailoring, skimpy co-ords, and body-con dresses and you’ve basically got the picture. Miuccia P and Maison Margiela are unlikely to be shaking in their boots, but it wasn’t bad – we’ve seen far worse traipsed out on the catwalk, put it that way.

With those inside seemingly lapping the whole thing up, and red-top rag The Mirror calling the offering “stunning”, the scenes outside were a very different story. 

At the entrance to The Londoner Hotel, a bunch of protestors assembled, brandishing signs that highlighted PLT and parent company Boohoo’s alleged ‘wage theft’, as well as the fact its CEO is reportedly worth £1.42 billion while the people who actually make the clothes linger somewhere about the £7k mark annual salary-wise. Meanwhile, as creative director, Molly-Mae Hague is allegedly raking in £4.8 million per year. 

Organising the event alongside educational platform Oh So Ethical was sustainable fashion campaigner Venetia La Manna, who posted a series of photos from the protest to her Instagram. “We staged the demo to demand that (Pretty Little Thing and Boohoo) pay their garment workers fair living wages, recognise their unions, and commit to a drastic reduction in output.” 

Among the protestors was Hague’s fellow former Love Islander and sustainability editor Brett Staniland, who brandished a placard reading “There’s nothing pretty about wage theft.” 

The show comes hot on the heels of the launch of Pretty Little Thing’s resale platform, which will offer up pre-loved clothes for sale in a bid to cut down on waste, as well as a new sustainable capsule collection – which, in reality, is a small drop in the ocean when you consider PLT has around 20,000 garments up for grabs on its site at any given moment.

Last year, Boohoo also announced it would be introducing tours of its factories to allow a glimpse at what goes on behind the scenes, as part of a bid to become more transparent. However, despite Dazed reaching out several times to try to organise one, to date, we never received a response.