Cut-price clothing giant Primark say they are investigating after a label found inside a pair of trousers implied the garment was produced by poorly treated prison inmates in China.
The item was bought in Belfast by Karen Wisínska from Co Fermanagh back in 2011 but the message was only discovered when she recently retrieved the unworn trousers from a cupboard.
The message – written in Chinese – says: “SOS! SOS! SOS! We are prisoners in the Xiang Nan Prison of the Hubei Province in China. Our job inside the prison is to produce fashion clothes for export. We work 15 hours per day and the food we eat wouldn’t even be given to dogs or pigs.”
Mrs Wisinska contacted Amnesty International whose spokesman, Patrick Corrigan, said: “It is a horrific tale. It’s very difficult to know whether it’s genuine, but the fear has to be that this is just the tip of the iceberg.”
In a statement, Primark said it was taking the allegation seriously and that factories producing their goods “must ensure products are made in good working conditions, and that the people making them are treated decently and paid a fair wage”.