The Kardashians have come under fire for their extensive array of branded goods and endorsements -- from their lackluster credit card to Bebe distancing itself from the stars -- but a new report in Star magazine alleges that certain items from some of the Kardashians' various fashion lines are being produced in sweatshops by workers as young as 16.
The exclusive Star report -- outlined by Radar -- alleges that pieces from K-Dash, Kris Jenner's Kollection (sold on QVC), and ShoeDazzle (a membership-based shopping site founded by Kim) are manufactured in sections of China that have been known to host seriously substandard working environments. While the report does not appear to offer evidence of a factory in specific that manufactures Kardashian goods, the report quotes several members of influential rights groups as saying that the overall region is riddled with factories where some workers earn reportedly as little as a dollar per hour.
“The Kardashians are in bed with some pretty bad people,” Charles Kernaghan, the executive director of the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights, tells Star. “Not only are celebrities like the Kardashians taking advantage of these workers, they are holding hands with a government that spits on democracy and women’s rights.”
According to the report, some human rights watchdog groups have apparently sent undercover investigators to some factories that manufacture Kardashian-branded or Kardashian-endorsed goods, though as of yet, there seems to be no concrete evidence linking specific goods to specific factories.
The Kardashians also aren't the first to come under fire for allegedly hazardous labor conditions: Bloomberg recently published a scathing report of the conditions in Burkina Faso, where Victoria's Secret reportedly gets some of the supposedly fair-trade cotton for its underwear.
UPDATE: A spokesperson for the Kardashians, Jill Fritzo, tells Radar that the Kardashians were not aware of the factory conditions, and that they plan on taking the situation "very seriously." The family is apparently "investigating the situation."