Fashion Nova has become one of the most talked-about brands on the internet thanks to its lightning fast response to just about every major trend in recent memory.
Whether it’s Kim Kardashian West‘s latest fit or an ensemble as iconic as Jennifer Lopez‘s Versace green VMA‘s dress (yep, they went there), the company has notoriously churned out Instagram-ready versions of the hottest looks on the market within hours after the originals first appear on our feeds.
However, a recent investigation into the fast-fashion giant has reportedly exposed some very ugly threads with their business model and practices — and hopefully, make you think twice before supporting them in the future.
An investigation by federal officials, which was first reported by The New York Times on Monday, reveals the dark side of the brand’s Los Angeles manufacturing network.
In their reports, the U.S. Department of Labor found that dozens of factories that were subcontracted by companies working directly with Fashion Nova allegedly owe $3.8 million in back wages to hundreds of employees. Additionally, it’s said some workers were illegally paid as little at $2.77 an hour for their labor.
WTF? How disgustingly awful!!
To really put things into perspective for you, let’s consider that $65 dress you might still have lingering in your cart on FN.com. Based on these findings, someone got paid 23 times less than that an hour to put it together.
An employee by the name of Mercedes Cortes candidly described the subpar working conditions at a factory contracted by FN called Coco Love. She told the outlet:
“There were cockroaches. There were rats. The conditions weren’t good.”
Cortes was one of the few to eventually reach a settlement with Coco Love for $5,000 in backpay they owed her. But despite her personal victory, there’s still a larger problem that exists within the system. As she noted:
“The clothes are very expensive for what they pay us.”
So, what does Fashion Nova have to say about all of this?
Will we get the classic, indirect, and PR-driven apology with a loose promise to do better as we’ve often heard from embattled brands before? Sort of!
In a statement shared with Business Insider, a spokesperson for the business confirmed that they met with the Department of Labor to discuss the findings of its inquiry. It reads:
“We have already had a highly productive and positive meeting with the Department of Labor in which we discussed our ongoing commitment to ensuring that all workers involved with the Fashion Nova brand are appropriately compensated for the work they do. Any suggestion that Fashion Nova is responsible for underpaying anyone working on our brand is categorically false.”
They also shifted the blame on the subcontractors they hire to act as a middleman between them and factories while noting they are “not responsible for how these vendors handle their payrolls.” Additionally, their statement insisted if Fashion Nova learns their liaison has been charged with violating any labor laws, they put their middleman on a six-month probation.
“As a proud California-based company, Fashion Nova is fully committed to its more than 1,000 employees and has always followed all California laws in compensating its workforce. Additionally, all of Fashion Nova’s more than 700 vendors have signed written agreements with the company to pay their employees and sub-contractors in strict alignment with those same laws. Any vendor found to not be in compliance is immediately put on a six-month probationary period. A second violation results in a suspension of all agreements with that vendor.”
But this doesn’t exactly sound like an enforced legal consequence for breaking serious laws to us. More like a slap on the wrist, if we’re being honest!
We know this might be a hard pill to swallow, especially when some of our favorite celebrities like Cardi B have partnered with the brand. However, should we (in good conscience) continue to support them?
Perezcious readers, we want to hear from YOU! Where do U stand on all of this? Share your thoughts in the comments section, (below)…
[Image via FashionNova.com]
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