Topshop and Primark can hire children as young as 14 to work in their factories

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor
Topshop have a policy which allows children aged 14 to work in factories. [Photo: Getty]

A Topshop and Primark policy allows children as young as 14 to work in its supply factories overseas, it has been revealed.

Jamie Beck, a representative from Arcadia, the retail giant which owns Topshop, attended an Environmental Audit Committee meeting yesterday on sustainability and ethical practice in the fashion industry.

Paul Lister, head of ethical trade of Primark, was also in attendance.

The Arcadia and Primark representatives told the committee the minimum age of workers in supply factories is 15, according to The Independent.

However, a loophole in the law means children as young as 14 could be working in factories.

Both companies operate under the 1973 International Labour Organisation Organisation (ILO) convention, which specifies in countries “whose economy and educational facilities are insufficiently developed” children are able to work from a minimum age of 14.

The revelation comes after sexual harassment claims were made against Arcadia boss Philip Green in October.

Beck was reluctant to comment on the allegations aimed at Green at the committee meeting yesterday, saying, “I’m not here to comment on that specifically.”

Beyoncé, who launched her Ivy Park athleisure range as a joint enterprise with Topshop in 2016, bought out Green’s 50% share in her company earlier this month.

There have also been calls to boycott Topshop under the hashtag #PinkNotGreen after a pop-up shop selling ‘Feminists Don’t Wear Pink’, a book by Scarlett Curtis, was dismantled in just 20 minutes.

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