A new report suggests that the factory workers producing Ivanka Trump's clothing line are being severely overworked and underpaid. A financial audit released on Monday by the Fair Labour Association, obtained by the Washington Post, shows that Chinese manufacturers used by G-III Apparel Group, which has owned the license for the First Daughter's eponymous brand since 2012, routinely had its employees work overtime exceeding the legal limit, while making less than minimum wage and oftentimes without receiving benefits, in 2016.
The factory inspected by the Fair Labor Association last year belongs to G-III, which also owns the licensing for brands like Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, and Karl Lagerfeld. According to the organisation's findings, approximately 80 factory workers at that particular facility endure exhausting hours and receive pay near or below China’s minimum wage, with high turnover rates. According to China's Labour Bulletin, the standard work week in China is 40 hours long, and overtime pay is capped at 36 extra hours per month. However, it seems that the factory workers producing Ivanka Trump's clothing are being paid as little as £1 per hour to produce her dresses and shoes, which retail for £120 an item, on average. While the report didn't release the factory's name or location, it also revealed that the building violated dozens of labor laws during a two-day tour in October.
While G-III owns several factories across Asia, including Vietnam and Bangladesh, data obtained by the Post shows that Chinese factories are the dominant makers and suppliers of Ivanka Trump clothing, and have shipped more than 110 tons of the label's clothing to the U.S. since October. The line is licensed by President Trump's private business, which he divested from upon taking office in January, and is produced almost entirely in foreign countries. Before the Fair Labor Association's report, there was little information about how and where Ivanka Trump Collection was made, per Racked.
A representative for G-III provided the following statement to Refinery29: "Our manufacturing facilities in China are routinely audited by a highly experienced team, utilising protocols and practices in keeping with industry standards. These factories are also routinely audited by third party groups - such as the Fair Labor Association. The report issued by them this week detailed several situations that we either corrected or are working diligently to correct. Our goal is to always attain and maintain the best labor conditions possible in these factories. "
G-III was in the news just last week for mistakenly relabelling Ivanka Trump merchandise to be sold at discount stores. It's not the first time the licensing company comes under fire for the apparent inconsistencies between its business practices and Trump's public persona: In August, G-III was criticised for its maternity leave policy — or, rather, lack thereof — which directly contradicted the message being put forth by the now-First Daughter, who was still involved with her namesake brand. (She stepped down in January, right before the Inauguration.)
During a recent visit to Germany, the mogul-turned-assistant-to-the-president championed her father's commitment to women in the workplace, which was met with boos and hisses from the audience. And in an essay in the Financial Times, Ivanka Trump wrote that the government "can add billions to the global economy by creating an enabling environment," and "improving the productivity of [women's] work." Her latest book on the topic, Women Who Work, debuts next week.