A new investigative report has uncovered some profoundly unflattering claims about the business practices of fast fashion outlet Fashion Nova.

As explained early into a fresh New York Times piece by Natalie Kitroeff, the federal Labor Department says that "many Fashion Nova garments" are put together by employees in the U.S. who are paid "illegally low" wages.

Citing investigations that went down starting in 2016 and continued until 2019, Fashion Nova had clothes being constructed in as many as dozens of factories owing millions in back wages. Sewers, in some instances, were paid as little as $2.77 per hour. 

Fashion Nova reps, per the Times report, met with federal officials following repeated violations of wage requirements. In a statement included in the Monday-published investigation, a company rep said any assessment of Fashion Nova as being responsible for underpaying workers was "categorically false."

The report also includes comments from owners and workers, many of whom alleged that Fashion Nova pushed to achieve the "lowest price possible" for each garment with the added stress of a fast turnaround expectation. 

As for efforts from the company to halt unfair labor practices, the Times points out that a probationary period method is in place for those deemed to have violated any laws, though the handling of that probation seemingly does not halt the practice outright. At least, not initially:

[T]he brand will put the middleman who hired that factory on a six-month “probation,” it said in a statement.

The working relationship would continue, unless workers file another complaint against the same factory or another one that the contractor hired during those six months. At that point, the brand will suspend the contractor until it passes a third-party audit.

For the full report, click here.

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