First Kylie Jenner was unduly stripped of her billionaire status (allegedly fabricated) and now she’s been accused of exploiting workers who make her lucrative fashion line.
It’s not been a good two months for the reality TV star.
Alongside celebrities like P Diddy, Kylie and her sister Kendall have been hit with claims that Global Brand Group, the company who own the clothing lines sold and marketed under their names, has left thousands of garment workers “starving” around the world.
Rapper Cardi B has also come under fire for her partnership with Fashion Nova, which is one of several brands to pull contracts from garment workers in Los Angeles, leaving 50,000 women without an income and often with no government assistance because of their immigration status.
Non-profit organisation Remake is lobbying to hold these brands, and the celebrities who profit from them, accountable.
Their #PayUp campaign, launched originally in March, is demanding that multi-million dollar brands like Gap and Primark honour their contracts with suppliers so they can pay their workers.
A petition for the cause has attracted over 62,000 signatures at the time of writing.
In their latest report, Remake highlight how Global Brands Group, who own Kendall + Kylie, the Jenners’ fashion line, has cancelled all S/S 2020 orders – and is refusing to pay workers for orders completed in February and arch.
In a March letter, Rick Darling, CEO of Global Brands Group, wrote:
Given the unpredictability of the situation, our retail partners have cancelled orders, and existing inventory and product in production may have no sell-through.
Consequently, we have no choice but to make the difficult decision to cancel all S/S 2020 orders from all suppliers (without liability).
Remake says that Global Brands Group does have a choice but the company are “just choosing not to implement it”.
The organisation also points out those disproportionately affected by the pulled contracts are people of colour.
In a report on their website, they write:
Our fashion is brought to life by human hands, most of which belong to black and brown women who work 10-12 hour days and live paycheck to paycheck. COVID-19 has attacked both her life and her livelihood.
Many live in crowded urban dwellings and take congested transportation to get to work. Facing dwindling orders, many factories around the world opened up this month, forcing garment makers to come back to work despite rising infection rates.
With brands still holding payments from February and March, many of these women are risking their health to head to factories, while struggling to pay rent or buy food.
People have begun lobbying Kylie Jenner to pay her workers online.
Under one tweet Kylie posted about a new line of masks on her beauty website, one social media replied “You have billions but you are refusing to pay poor women who make your clothing for minimum wage in Bangladesh. Hope you are taking notice”.
Others put it in stronger terms.
The Global Brands Group has been contacted for comment.