WASHINGTON — US lingerie maker Victoria’s Secret on Thursday vowed to investigate claims that some of its fair-trade underwear is produced using child labor.
In a statement Victoria’s Secret’s parent company said it was “very concerned” that fair-trade-certified cotton used in its panties could have been farmed using under-aged labor in Burkina Faso.
“Immediately upon learning of this allegation, we began working with key stakeholders internally and externally to fully investigate this matter,” Limited Brands said.
“Depending on the findings, we are prepared to take swift action to prevent the illegal use of child labor.”
The retailer — which became a household name thanks to its catalog and the prominent use of models such as Gisele Buendchen, Helena Christensen, Elle MacPherson and Claudia Schiffer — is a multi-billion dollar a year business.
Previous allegations of child labor against companies like Nike, GAP and Apple have forced US companies to tighten up standards on suppliers in recent years.
Limited Brands was quick to emphasize it had ethics rules in place.
“If this allegation is true, it describes behavior that is contrary to our company’s values,” it said.