FASHION retailer H&M are being boycotted after one of their factory workers in India was allegedly “raped, poisoned and killed”.
Furious social media users have been flooding the brand’s Instagram page with the hashtag “Justice for Jeyasre Kathiravel” after the young worker was found dead earlier this month.
Jeyasre’s family have claimed that the 20-year-old was asked by a supervisor to come into Natchi Apparels factory in Tamil Nadu, India just days before.
After she did not return home, the family filed a police investigation and her body was found in nearby wasteland four days later.
The family claim Jeyasre’s supervisor is being held in custody after the young factory worker was found “raped, poisoned and strangled to death”.
H&M today said they were “deeply saddened” by Jeyasre’s death and said they are reviewing their relationship with the factory.
The company also said they have asked Natchi Apparels to make some “urgent changes” to “guarantee the safety of their staff”.
Social media influencers and furious consumers have been flooding H&M with comments this week after hearing about the death.
Influencer Venetia La Manna who advocates for fair fashion took to Instagram to tell her 135k followers to share a case summary that accuses the company of ignoring gender-based violence at Natchi Apparels, a factory in India that supplies to H&M.
Laura Young @lesswastelaura from Glasgow said, “Justice for Jeyasre Kathiravel. Protect your workers. Pay your workers. Cut down the amount of crap you put into our world. Stop greenwashing. This is getting so tiring #PayYourWorkers”
Nicole Morissette @goodvibesworldwide said, “You can’t be sustainable when you treat people the way you do. Justice for Jeyasre Kathiravel and pay your workers!!”
According to Jeyasre’s family, she was called by her supervisor on 1 January and asked to report to the factory premises.
Her family filed a missing person report on 2 January.
Farmers are believed to have found her body in a wasteland area in a nearby village on 5 January.
The family claim that a police investigation revealed that she had previously been taken to a house where she was allegedly raped, poisoned and strangled to death.
A police investigation is currently ongoing.
H&M have said they will review their business relationship with a garment factory in India used to produce their clothes.
A spokeswoman for H&M today (WED) said: “We are deeply saddened to hear about this tragic incident, and our thoughts and condolences are with the victim’s family.
“H&M Group does not tolerate harassment of any kind, and suppliers that do not share these values will not be part of our supply chain.
“The severity of this tragic incident and the unacceptable lack of transparency on this issue has prompted us to review our business relationship with them.
She added: “We are aware of an ongoing police investigation, as well as a third-party investigation conducted by the independent organisation SAVE.
“H&M Group is in close contact with the supplier in question, and we have set some immediate and urgent actions that we expect them to complete in order to demonstrate how they can guarantee the safety of their workers.
“Any future relationship with this supplier will depend on the factory management team taking necessary actions within a set timeline, and guaranteeing a fully transparent line of communication going forward.”
The company often highlight across social media about producing sustainable clothes that has enraged followers on social media.
A report by the Asia Floor Wage Alliance (AFWA) for the International Labour Organisation found that according to the most recent H&M Supplier List, H&M purchases apparel from 235 garment supplier factories located in India.
Based upon analysis of 2018 shipping data, more than 1.6 million kilograms of goods were exported from Indian supplier factories to H&M up until May 2018.
Export data and field research suggests that H&M production in India has consisted mostly of women and kids clothing produced from inexpensive fabrics including cottons and synthetic textiles.