The real cost of Beyoncé's Ivy Park

A report reveals that seamstresses are paid just 44p an hour to make Beyoncé's athleisure range

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By Frankie Graddon on

How much is too much for a pair of leggings? In an age of booming sportswear sales, premium gym classes and athleisure, the answer to that question is becoming more and more undefinable. £30? £50? £80? 

How about £100? That is how much you would have to pay for a pair of reflective high waist ankle leggings from Beyoncés Ivy Park range (prices start from £8 for a headband). A figure that, when compared to the Lululemons and Adidas by Stella McCartney's of the world, doesn't sound that crazy. 

That's of course, until you find out how much the women who made them were paid. A report released by The Sun on Sunday yesterday claimed that the seamstresses who produced Ivy Park were paid just £4.30 per day, or 44p per hour. 

Based in factories near Colombo, Sri Lanka, the female workers, who work 60 hours a week, earn a monthly salary of 18,500 rupees (£87.26) a month, just over half of the average salary of 43,000 rupees (£164). Though pitifully low, the factory wages are not breaking any laws as the minimum wage is only 13,500 rupees (£65). 

Ivy Park, a collaboration between Beyoncé and Topshop owner Sir Philip Green, was released last month to huge fanfare. Many of the pieces have mostly sold out on the Topshop website. 

A Topshop spokesperson told the Sun: "Ivy Park has a rigorous ethical trading programme... [Topshop] expect our suppliers to meet our code of conduct and we support them in achieving these requirements." 

Ivy Park has already come under fire for its exclusive sizing. The body-confidence promoting collection ranges from a XXS to a XL, the XL size being a UK 14. 

When launching Ivy Park, Beyoncé said of the collection, "My goal with Ivy Park is to push the boundaries of athletic wear and to support and inspire woman who understand that beauty is more than your physical appearance. True beauty is in the health of our minds, hearts, and bodies. I know that when I feel physically strong, I am mentally strong and I wanted to create a brand that made other women feel the same way."


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ethical fashion

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