Meghan Markle wore a Stella McCartney coat for the Remembrance Sunday commemorations. The coat was made by Hungarian workers in Beriv factory.
Imre Matolcsi, the factory director, stated that the workers earn above minimum wage and are properly paid according to Hungarian laws. The owner of the factory added that Stella McCartney is their most valuable client, and they look back on a long partnership together.
However, factory workers offered an entirely different point of view.
One of the workers showed her latest payslip which revealed that she was paid roughly 170 thousand forints for 176 hours.
“We might be paid above the legal amount, but we are still struggling. All of us workers are unable to survive and don’t have enough money for food or heating so have to rely on the help of friends and family to get through the month,” she said.
Beriv factory workers have a quota which if they are unable to meet, they are paid less, and often this quota is practically impossible to reach. In the case of the wool coat worn by the Duchess of Sussex, the quota was 50 linings sewn into them per day, which was highly unrealistic due to the intricacy of the work.
“The overall target for our production line for all Stella McCartney coats and jackets is to complete 50 per day but we are lucky if we can even do half of this,” she said.
It was also revealed that the total cost of production was about 20% of the retail price, which means a significant profit for the Stella McCartney brand, raising some questions given that the brand prides itself on producing ethical and sustainable clothing.
“We remain committed to responsible and ethical business practices and will do what we can to secure these throughout our supply chain,” stated a spokeswoman of the high-end brand.
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