‘Yeah, the shirts I’m making say ‘Girl Power,’ and ‘The Future Is Female,’ so I’m not too worried about this whole ‘exploitation thing’, to be honest,’ said seven-year-old Prisha Chowdhury, who has been working at the fast-fashion factory for over four years now.
‘They seem to have it under control. After all, this matching pajama set ($24.99 RRP) clearly states ‘SISTERHOOD.’ And there’s no way the sisterhood wouldn’t care equally about those who make these shirts as those who buy them!’
In the past four years, Prisha has risen through the ranks to become one of the most senior managers in the factory which produces fashion items for global brands such as H&M, Cotton On, and Zara.
And with that new level of seniority has come a pay rise. Prisha is now earning the staggering salary of 45c/hr, a far cry from the entry-level wage of 17c/hr which she had become accustomed to.
But despite being a seven-year old fast-fashion factory worker/manager, some commentators worldwide have indicated the conditions in which Prisha have been working are ‘tantamount to modern slavery,’ and ‘rely on the exploitation of women.’
However, those arguments can immediately be set aside when you look at the clothes they’re making, indicates Prisha.
In our exclusive sit-down interview, whilst she was on a break from a nineteen-hour shift where she was given water once and allowed to go to the bathroom never, Prisha suggested that ‘girl power is clearly coming through loud and clear from these shirts.’
‘I mean, what sort of company would make this stuff without being committed to these ideals? And I’ll bet you five dollars, my salary for two years, that people wouldn’t buy these if they weren’t overwhelmingly happy with our working conditions.’
‘So don’t stress!’ Our interview abruptly came to a close when two five-year-old labourers fainted on the factory floor whilst stitching a tote bag with the logo of ‘Femme + Fierce.’ But after a cup of warm water and a firm slap, they were back in action in no time!
Contacted for comment about the plight of girls like Prisha, and the 40 million young, disproportionately female workers trapped in near-slavery worldwide, the managing director of H&M, Karl-Johan Persson, replied ‘Seven years old and she’s already a senior manager in a factory? Wow. Talk about #GirlBoss.’
‘She’s kicking goals and smashing expectations. She might even be on her way to a little raise - we might take her all the way to 48c/hr!’
When informed that paying her 48c/hr would immediately ruin H&M’s profit margin, Mr Persson indicated she would stay at 45c/hr, but ‘she should be very proud of that glass ceiling she’s smashing!’
Hoping for no more to come.