Victoria's Secret Revealed: Using Child Labor for Cotton
Victoria's Secret Uses Controversial Burkina Faso Cotton
Victoria's Secret go-to destination for the man looking to buy the woman in his life a little Christmas joy. It also provides the man with a little festive cheer. But this year, you may want to think twice before slipping on that sexy little something, as Victoria Secret's cotton has been linked to child labor.
A recent Bloomberg Markets Magazine reports that underage, mistreated African children have been forced to plant and pick organic, fair-trade cotton used in some of the company's underwear. In the piece, Bloomberg highlights a typical day as faced by 13-year-old Clarisse Kambire, as well as six other children who work on organic-cotton farms in Burkina Faso:
"Clarisse Kambire’s nightmare rarely changes. It’s daytime. In a field of cotton plants that burst with purple and white flowers, a man in rags towers over her, a stick raised above his head. Then a voice booms, jerking Clarisse from her slumber and making her heart leap. 'Get up!'"
Earlier this year, the U.S. Labor Department reported that Burkina Faso was one of more than a dozen countries using children in the production of cotton. The article then went on to emphasize a pair of zebra-print, hip-hugger panties, sold for $8.50 (U.S.) at the lingerie retailer in October. “Made with 20 per cent organic fibers from Burkina Faso,” reads a stamp on the garment.
Worrying stuff, but what do Victoria's Secret have to say about the allegations?
In a statement released on their website, Limited Brands (the parent company of Victoria's Secret) said that "Burkina Faso used in a small portion of our Victoria’s Secret panty styles was grown on farms that use child labor."
Depending on findings however, they are "prepared to take swift action to prevent the illegal use of child labor in the fields where we source Fairtrade-certified organic cotton in Burkina Faso."
That doesn't necessarily mean that the Angels will be boycotting Burkina Faso cotton all together, but does it mean that we consumers should be boycotting the lingerie. What do you think?