The Spanish fashion retailer Zara has been accused of stealing its designs, animal cruelty, polluting the environment and treating its workers poorly. However, so long as shoppers kept buying, the company wasn’t deterred by the bad publicity. Now the workers who make the clothing sold at Zara and other “fast fashion” retailers are sending buyers a little reminder of the suffering their dollars support. They have been slipping “protest notes” into the pockets and sewing them into the seams of clothing.
“I made this item you are going to buy, but I didn’t get paid for it,” their message reads. It urges shoppers to help pressure Zara into paying them. The workers were employed by third-party manufacturer Bravo Tekstil, which closed suddenly in 2016. The factory’s owner took several months of wages owed to its workers and disappeared. Bravo also produced garments for stores Mango and Next.