A Primark shopper got more than she bargained after discovering a “cry for help” sewn into the lining of her cut-price dress. Rebecca Gallagher from Swansea, Wales, was searching her £10 buy for washing instructions when she found a label bearing the hand-embroidered words, “Forced to work exhausting hours.” Gallagher believes that a garment worker stitched the message in a fit of desperation. “I’ve got no idea who put it there but it really took the wind out of my sails,” she told the South Wales Evening Post. “It makes me think that it was a cry for help—to let us people in Britain know what is going on.”
CRY FOR HELP
The 25-year-old mother of one, who claims the discount retailer hung up when she called about the label, says the incident has forced her to rethink the way she consumes. “To be honest I’ve never really thought much about how the clothes are made,” Gallagher said. “But this really made me think about how we get our cheap fashion. I dread to think that my summer top may be made by some exhausted person toiling away for hours in some sweatshop abroad.”
Primark, one of the brands that sourced clothing from the infamous Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh, as well as the first U.K. retailer to sign the legally binding Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, says there have been “no other incidents of this kind” relating to the garment in question. “We find it very strange that this has come to light so recently, given that the dress was on sale more than a year ago,” a spokesman said in a statement on Monday. “We would be grateful if the customer would give us the dress, so we can investigate how the additional label became attached and whether there are issues which need to be looked into.”
This isn’t the first time alleged sweatshop workers have used merchandise to communicate their distress. In 2012, a woman found in her Saks Fifth Avenue shopping carrier a note from a man who said he was forced to work 13-hour days at a Chinese prison factory to make the bags.
[Via South Wales Evening News]