Apparently, Gucci has way bigger problems than their tacky, over-conspicuous monogrammed designs.
The Italian fashion house announced it would be strengthening controls on its suppliers after a state-run public broadcasting program exposed the near-slave labor hours the company’s Chinese workers put into assembling their handbags, Reuters reports.
Gucci subcontractor Mondo Libero — meaning Free World, ironically — employed the workers and allegedly had them toiling for up to 14 hours a day assembling handbags — over three times their official four-hour schedule.
Aroldo Guidotti, the head of Mondo Libero, which is based near Florence, told the investigative program that Gucci was aware of the situation and that he sold the handbags to Gucci for 24 euros ($30) apiece. Prodigious fashion consumers, of course, know that most Gucci handbags have retail prices that well exceed $1,000.
In a statement refuting the program’s allegations, Gucci parent company Kering said:
“Hidden and inappropriately used cameras, shooting carefully selected supplier companies (3 out of a total 576), do not provide for a true or accurate representation of Gucci and its supply chain policies and procedures.”
The fashion conglomerate also fought back against the reported actual price of their bags, saying that it left out the cost of raw materials, cutting, packaging and shipping. Of course, while the Kering statement cites minor costs such as “cutting” and packaging, they left out the cost of design … because, well, there isn’t much of it in their bags to account for.
The lesson: Even Chinese people working in Europe for luxury companies are stuck making cheap sh*t for long hours.