Lesotho, one of the largest garment-making countries in the world, faces another huge allegation of workplace harassment, and this time, it’s at actress Kate Hudson’s activewear ‘Fabletics’ factory. In an investigation conducted by Time magazine, multiple reports of sexual assault and harassment have come out, with no respite in sight.
With some of the biggest US brands such as Wrangler, Lee, and Levi’s contributing hugely to the country’s economy, it is unfortunate but not uncommon to hear rampant abuse and harassment charges against the supervisors handling the garment factories, Fabletics has fallen into the same category. The news was issued by TIME. Hippo Knitting, the Taiwanese company responsible for creating the garments of the athletic wear brand, has reported at least 38 complaints about abuse along with problematic behavior, inappropriate touching, and sexual assault in the name of ‘security checks to avoid stealing.’ With about 90% of employees being women, the fear is at an all-time high.
“A supervisor pulled my jeans down, pulled my tights elastic toward her, and let go … it slapped my (fibroids) operation wound. I was in so much pain,” “She has done this to numerous women … and told several that they don’t shave their private parts.” At least three workers in the factory independently mentioned that they have witnessed the operation wound incident during their interviews with TIME and The Fuller Project, a nonprofit organization protecting the rights of women and exposing injustice.
When informed by the TIME and The Fuller Project about the alleged abuse, Fabletics put out a statement vowing to do “everything in (their) power to further remedy the situation,” according to a spokesperson.” As of now, work has been suspended at the factory and until further investigations are completed, the factory will not resume functioning.
This, however, can be counterproductive as women fear losing their jobs. “We are tired, we need help, we work with bleeding hearts,” said a woman who has been working at the factory for a decade.
This is a haunting reality for many workers in Lesotho, a maximum of the workforce consisting of women.
(Source - Google, Instagram, TIME)