Dior contractors suspected of exploiting Chinese workers – media

1 week ago 8

An Italian operating company of the French fashion brand reportedly spent just $57 to produce a $2,800 bag

A Milan court has placed an Italian unit of the French fashion group Christian Dior under judicial administration, after it was found to have exploited Chinese workers to produce luxury goods for a fraction of their retail cost, the Corriere Della Sera newspaper reported on Monday. 

According to the outlet, the fashion brand charges consumers as much as €2,600 ($2,800) for one bag in its range, although the item costs the Italian manufacturer Dior Srl just €53 ($57) to buy from a factory of Chinese workers “under the table.”  

These informal subcontractors are alleged to have been exploiting their workers, most of whom are undocumented immigrants from China, and sometimes the Philippines, who have been hired illegally. According to the investigation, some workers were found to be sleeping in the workplace, where health and hygiene conditions were below “ethical” levels.  

In one factory, investigators said safety measures were being grossly neglected, with workers being forced to use “machines from which the safety devices have been removed to increase production capacity.” This reportedly included measures that were meant to prevent workers from being electrocuted or struck in the eye by fragments of the product when using the machine. 

Additionally, it was found that these subcontractors were often not even real companies. Italian police stated that at least one of them had been “fictitiously created only to justify the outsourcing of Dior’s productions.” 

The Italian manufacturer is now accused of failing to prevent and stem labor exploitation within its production cycle. The unit has been appointed a special commissioner who will oversee the company’s operations for the next year and will be tasked with ensuring they meet legal requirements. 

The report follows similar investigations into suppliers for fashion groups Armani and Alviero Martini, which have also been accused of using Chinese manufacturers that exploited their workers. Both units were put under special judicial administration.

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