World, a New Zealand-based renowned fashion brand, has been accused of selling garments by attaching ‘Made in New Zealand’ tags that are ‘actually’ made in Bangladesh.
An investigation conducted by the Spinoff, a New Zealand online commentary and opinion magazine, found that World was selling garments for almost $100 each which were manufactured in Bangladesh, had a sequinned patch from Hong Kong added to them and then had swing tags attached to them reading ‘Made in New Zealand’, reports The Daily Mail on Monday.
Dame Denise L’Estrange-Corbet, co-founder of World, however, said that the company had not misled customers by attaching ‘Made in New Zealand’ tags to some garments manufactured offshore.
Dame Denise founded the World brand with her then-husband Francis Hooper in New Zealand in 1989, and she has been outspoken against making clothes offshore.
The t-shirts, sweatshirts and sweatpants were purchased wholesale through AS Colour, a clothing retailer which sells blank, relatively cheap items.
A red-and-white striped AS Colour shirt made in Bangladesh which sells for $30 on their web site is being sold by World for $99.
According to the international media report, Dame Denise said, ‘Mr Hooper travels regularly to Hong Kong to source the patches used on the t-shirts himself.’
‘I’ve never had anyone come back and say that they were misled by this in the seven years we have been doing this..,’ she said.
‘I would have thought the New Zealand public was a bit smarter than that and could actually see the tag sewn into the garment which quite plainly states where it is made,’ Dame Denise said.
She disputed that tags on the shirts reading ‘Made in New Zealand’ were misleading, and that it referred to the swing tag itself rather than the garment.
‘The tag is just to stick on the price and the bar code. I’m not going to make 5000 tags for only 10 t-shirts,’ Dame Denise said.
‘The tag is thrown away... the label inside [the garment] states where it was made,’ she said.
‘World has been endorsed by the United Nations for its commitment to sustainability, and Dame Denise has been openly critical of international powerhouses Zara and H&M for what she said were unethical practices,’ the Daily Mail reported.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Apparel