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by on August 15, 2012

Last March, former employees of designer Alexander Wang sued the company claiming their factory in Chinatown was a sweatshop. Now the $250 million lawsuit has been dismissed. 

Alexander Wang Sweatshop Case Dismissed

Outsourcing is a common occurrence with fashion labels and because of looser labor laws in other countries, brands save some cash on manufacturing their products. That being said, these workers in other countries are sometimes facing unsafe working conditions, but that type of thing could never happen in the States right? Well some employees of Alexander Wang disagree. In March, two former employees claim they were fired from the label after applying for worker’s compensation after sustaining injuries on the job.

Suing for $50 million on each of the nine claims brought against the American designer, the case was dismissed two weeks ago by a New York judge following an undisclosed settlement between the two parties.

The employees originally claimed that they were forced to work 16-hour workdays in a 200 square ft. workplace that had no windows or ventilation. Wang spokespeople in turn stated the claims were false and were from “disgruntled” ex-workers with “axes to grind”, that the Chinatown workplace was “modern, bright lit with high ceilings and large windows”.

The two original workers declined to comment on the case dismissal, but the Wang spokespeople are “gratified” because the accusations were “unfounded and completely false”.

With the 23-year old designer’s label still in its beginning phases (Alexander Wang won the CFTA Fashion Fund Award in 2008) it’s definitely a challenge to manufacture high-end clothing in New York while still making your bottom line. Although we are disappointed to hear that these allegations were made in the first place, we hope that this lawsuit has brought a heightened awareness to labor laws and safe working conditions for U.S. citizens.

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Contributed by Emily Draznik

Chicago transplant and aspiring gay icon. I hold the belief that puns are the highest form of humor and love writing about fashion and everything in between.

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