European department store Primark is disputing the validity of several SOS messages that were discovered inside garments purchased in 2013. It's insisting this is likely a hoax based out of the UK.
Earlier this month, a customer in Swansea, Wales, had contacted authorities when she looked inside her Primark dress and found a “cry for help” that read: "Forced to work exhausting hours.” A few days later, another Welsh shopper came forward with a similar discovery in her Primark purchase.
"The labels are clearly from the same source," a Primark spokesperson told Vogue. "It is almost impossible to imagine circumstances in which such similar labels could have been sewn onto the garments at the factory where they were made, given that they were made by different suppliers, in different factories, on different continents, one in Romania and the other in India, thousands of miles apart."
Primark is currently investigating a third message of distress that was found in a pair of pants purchased in Belfast. It maintains that its “ethical standards team” has conducted thorough inspections and has yet to find any signs of forced labor.