Garment maker Fashion Nova drawing complaints from sewers

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A popular fashion brand based in the Los Angeles area is under fire for allegedly producing clothing at rapid speed at the hands of underpaid subcontractors in sweatshop conditions.

At the center of a labor dispute is the women's wear company Fashion Nova, which is reaching online consumers through Instagram influencers and celebrities.

Its marketing strategy is to produce what is called "fast fashion," manufacturing the latest looks in L.A. factories instead of overseas plants to expedite delivery.

The prices are so low, a dress can cost $24 or less, according to its website.

Garment workers say that the prices are too low to provide adequate wages.

"Right now, they are not factoring in actual reality. They are not factoring in true labor costs into their profit margins, and they are asking workers and consumers to accept that," said Marisa Nuncio, director of the Garment Worker Center.

Fashion Nova says that allegations of underpayment are "categorically false."

In a statement, the Vernon-based company stated they have "an ongoing commitment to ensuring that all workers involved with the Fashion Nova brand are appropriately compensated for the work they do."

The Garment Worker Center has filed complaints with the State Labor Commission for 22 employees.

Some say they are not getting paid time-and-a-half for overtime, with some even claiming their hourly wage can be as low as $5.50. The legal minimum wage is $13.25.

Workers say other brands are guilty, too.

"Windsor, Forever 21, Agaci, Papaya, Charlotte Russe," Nuncio said.

Workers are urging consumers to contact the fashion producers and urge them to pay legal wages.
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