Your Cotton Victoria’s Secret Undies Are Being Made By 12-Year-Old Girls In Africa
5:14 pm, December 15th | by Hillary Reinsberg
Women lead Victoria’s Secret on all fronts, and try to portray a “power woman” image (sexy underwear and bejeweled bras can be empowering… I guess). This is great. But now here’s some bad news: they’ve been employing young girls who work the cotton fields in Burkina Faso.
Bloomberg spent over a month in the country investigating child labor, finding girls as young as 12 years old harvesting cotton that eventually makes its way into your undergarments. Before they get into that pink bag and onto your body, the cotton is shipped for manufacturing in India or Sri Lanka, where it’s possible (likely, even) that more children are employed.
And the conditions in Burkina Faso sound downright horrendous. Those interviewed complained of the intensely physical work, which leaves them in severe pain. The most upsetting part, though, is that they say they’re “forced” to do the work.
Before you denounce the brand forever, it’s worth noting that Victoria’s Secret did make inquiries about their cotton sourcing back in 2008. Unfortunately, they never heard back (and, disturbingly, apparently never followed up) — meaning they seemingly had to learn about the practices in a magazine.
Makes you think a little differently about that “Sexy Little Things” tagline, doesn’t it?