Star: Kardashian-branded items are made in Chinese sweatshops

Well, it looks like the Kardashians are getting a heap of tabloid drama for the holidays. Kim just finished having a hissy fit over this week’s National Enquirer report that she was disrespectful and nasty to poor people in Haiti, and now Radar has released this week’s Star Magazine cover, which I’m sure will cause even more famewhore dramz. Star claims that the Kardashians are using sweatshops to make their various Kardashian products, and now a human rights group is basically calling out the Kardashians for using “slave labor.”

In a stunning world exclusive exposé Star magazine is reporting that the Kardashian family are endorsing and selling fashion products manufactured in foreign sweatshops, where workers, some as young as sixteen years old, are abused and virtually imprisoned.

A prestigious human-rights watchdog organization has launched an investigation into America’s top TV family, with officials imploring the Kardashians not to profit from what amounts to “slave labor.”

“The Kardashians are in bed with some pretty bad people,” Charles Kernaghan, the executive director of the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights, tells Star. “Not only are celebrities like the Kardashians taking advantage of these workers, they are holding hands with a government that spits on democracy and women’s rights.”

While the Kardashians are involved with many fine consumer products in the fashion, beauty, fragrance, health and lifestyle industries that are not part of this investigation, there are several brands that are coming under fire. Items in the family’s high-end K-Dash by Kardashian label and the Kris Jenner Kollection — sold on the home-shopping television network QVC — and ShoeDazzle, a company that Kim cofounded and endorses, are all manufactured in areas of China where government regulations are often ignored and workers are subject to inhumane conditions.

Li Qiang, the executive director of China Labor Watch, says that the reality stars are turning a blind eye to human rights abuses, for the sake of their bottom line. “People like the Kardashians are producing their products in China because they will get more profit, since the labor cost is so low compared to the United States and other countries,” he tells Star exclusively.

The sweatshop workers live in squalid factory-run dormitories filled with the stench of sewage while toiling up to 84 hours during seven-day work weeks to produce some of the goods that helped Kourtney, 32, Kim, 31, Khloé, 27, mom Kris, 56, and the rest of their family earn $65 million last year.

Shockingly, the impoverished workers earn just a paltry $1 an hour, slaving away in factories in the Guangdong region of China, which Kernaghan describes as being “like minimum-security prisons.”

The region is a “scary place,” Kernaghan continues, where the peak summer season is “brutal,” with temperatures inside non-air-conditioned factories soaring to over 100˚F. Workers in the region can come out with as little as $15 a month once rent and food debts have been paid to their bosses.

“You can’t talk during working hours,” Kernaghan adds. “You can’t listen to music; you can’t stand up and stretch. You can’t even put your head up and look around, or you will be screamed at. If you get permission to use the toilet, you get four minutes. If you’re highly specialized, you cannot even go to the bathroom.”

Star has learned that human-rights groups have dispatched their undercover investigators to a number of factories that have been linked to the Kardashians. And, Kernaghan says, it is time for the world and the Kardashians to take some responsibility. “Kim has been very fortunate, but it’s time for her and her family to treat these workers with respect,” he tells Star.

“Kim, for example, could say, ‘It ain’t going to be all about me, me and me.’ She could do something and not leave behind a broken mess of women and children. If she took a stand and said, ‘I want to manufacture my products in Chicago or Los Angeles, where I can ensure people humane conditions,’ she would be taking the right stand.”

For the full shocking story on conditions within the sweatshops, and to read how Carmen Electra and Mel B are also coming under fire, pick up the new issue of Star magazine — on newsstands Thursday.

[From Radar]

Once again, I’m not going to defend the Kardashians, but I doubt that the Kardashian brand is the only company to use Chinese sweatshop labor. That doesn’t make it right, and of course, the Kardashians should know better and they should rectify the situation and demand that production should be moved to a country with stronger labor laws. But child labor is an enormous problem in China, in India, and in many developing countries. The exploitation is widespread and it will continue unabated without movement from governments, international businesses and watchdog groups. It’s a tragedy that poor Chinese children are being exploited so that people can buy Kardashian Krap, just as it’s a tragedy that so much of what Wal-Mart sells comes from countries with equally horrendous human rights records. I’m just saying – the issue is a lot bigger than the plague of Armenian ass implants. But yes, the Kardashians should manufacture in America. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have made American manufacturing a priority for their lines – why not the Kardashians?

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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93 Responses to “Star: Kardashian-branded items are made in Chinese sweatshops”

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  1. brin says:

    They only care about making money so this shouldn’t surprise anyone. I’m glad they are getting called out on this, they are disgusting.

  2. TheEmpress says:

    These celebrity designers who have their goods manufactured in China disgust me. Like you wouldn’t make enough of a profit if you manufactured in the US? These are side projects for most of them, not the real way they earn money and it’s gross. Hire Americans, you selfish cows!

  3. bee says:

    Really? Aren’t most of things in America made in China? This is a non issue and worse is that it is being reported by the Star magazine.

  4. Suzz54 says:

    I feel that if Santa were to leave me a Kardashian labeled gift it is equivalent to him leaving me coal.

  5. EmmaStoneWannabe says:

    Kris is involved in all of their businesses enough to know what’s going on – she is the manager of the Kardashian brand, calls the shots and signs the line. I blame the girls, but especially her. I guess next we’ll hear them deny it, going on the Today Show to set the record straight..blah blah. Add this to the list of reasons why everyone should dis-acknowledge their existence.

  6. bot says:

    They WOULDN’T make much of a profit if they used American labor – most textiles are produced in China, Vietnam, and other countries with less favorable employment laws. The only brands I know of that are American-made are incredibly high end – like Mary Kate and Ashley’s. It’s admirable, but not necessarily affordable.

  7. truthful says:

    that damn wolf MAMMY, is already lying, she said:

    “the conditions are up to par and code and its not a bad environment”

    THEN said

    “I’ve never visited” HUH??? then how do you know?

    ALL that traveling and they never thought to go check things out..

    The media is comingggggggggg and its not going to be nice.

    250,000+ signatures are on the NO Kardashians petition, so far.

  8. DD says:

    OMG just stop. Don’t you see how great they are. America is wealthy and powerful country and doesn’t need special attention. There in China lives billions of poor and unhappy teens who have no goal in their short and sad life. All she wants to do is give them a spark of hope that hard work is key to success. Working in those “sweatshops” and making Kim’s products they can learn a lot. So just stop give them a break. They are patriots and grand humanitarians.

    • aenflex says:

      I like your sense of humor :)
      Unless you are serious, which would be equally funny on a different level…

    • Veruca says:

      I truly hope you’re being sarcastic.

    • Lady D says:

      Where to start…America doesn’t need special attention. Guess you haven’t been reading unemployment figures huh? And patriotism isn’t your game.
      China has not quite 1 billion people. (not billions) Not all of them are teenagers. And where do you get off deciding they all have short, sad, goalless lives? How the hell do you know they have no goals?
      She wants to give them a spark of hope? And she did it by buying the cheapest labour she could find. Sounds more like using them, rather than giving them hope.
      Hard work is the key to success. No, in Kim’s case getting pissed on was the key to success. Maybe she should hire them to work in her next tape. I mean I’m sure she wants them to be successful.
      How pray tell does doing the same thing for 12 hours a day equal learning a lot? Are they learning that sleeves go on a shirt and legs go on pants. That will certainly get them far in life.
      Can’t believe China survived before Kim came along to save it. Oh what a grand humanitarian.
      P.S. Shouldn’t you be in school?

    • Kendall says:

      Applauding your sense of humor. Surely you’re joking.

    • Kelly says:

      If you’re joking, you already understand why what you wrote is ridiculous. If you’re not joking, you’re the stupidest person alive, and I will break it down for you.

      “…billions of poor and unhappy teens who have no goal in their short and sad life. All she wants to do is give them a spark of hope that hard work is key to success.” First, get your numbers straight; there are 1.3 billion people in China, including children, the elderly, and adults. Secondly – “spark of hope”? Yeah, being exploited and working your fingers to the bone with no hope of getting out of grinding poverty really illustrates that “hard work is the key to success.” Education, lucky breaks, and inheritance lead to success.

      “Working in those ‘sweatshops’ and making Kim’s products they can learn a lot. So just stop give them a break.” Wow, you really are stupid. What are they learning? To be slave laborers? Repetitive and back-breaking work? How to soil your pants? How to work every single f’ing day for a total of 84 hours per week? Why don’t you try it – you may learn a lot.

      “They are patriots and great humanitarians.” Patriots? How so? by spending their millions and thereby providing jobs for shop clerks and waiters? By siphoning money off the American economy? And humanitarians – really. They are the most selfish people alive. I work at a major university and frequently see donations come in of $5, 10, 50, and YES, $350 million, to fund research that will change the world. If you’re making $65 million and not giving chunks away, you suck. Majorly. I’d love to see a list of their charitable donations.

      ETA: Lady D, great minds think alike, LOL.

      Also, OMG!!!! Just stop!!!!!

      • DD says:

        Oh relax and take it easy. Not everybody can be beautiful, smart and rich. That’s the way it is. Kim&Co. have it all but there is no reason to be mean to them or hate them. They are fallowing their dreams it’s not a crime. Nobody said that they have to share their wealth with other people. Why should they? They are working really hard and deserving respect. Ok maybe not billions of teens in China have miserable life and strange faces. I agree. I’m sorry. But I’m sure some of them have.

      • Kelly says:

        OMG, stop! You take it easy. Yes, many Chinese have miserable lives – and the Kardashians are helping to perpetuate that misery. What does the fact that they’re “beautiful and rich” (smart? yeah right) have to do with anything? Does that mean they should be absolved of responsibility for their products?

        And they (at least Kim) pretend to be charitable. She was going to donate her wedding presents, y’all! Bought with other people’s money, not hers! And her trip to Haiti, what a joke. People are starving and she’s demanding special treatment.

        Normally I can just laugh at their ridiculousness, but this story (and the “LEAVE THEM ALONE, Y’ALL – they is living the American Dream” comment) set my blood boiling.

      • WorksEveryTime says:

        DD: because it is slave labor. They are profiting off slave labor. Is that okay to you??

  9. bitca says:

    Cruel enough for anyone to have to make die-cut KK masks & beach-towels displaying the sisters’ images—but performing such labors in sweat-shop conditions is truly revolting. Still, to be fair, this sort of thing is common. Most ‘celebrities’ who profit off their names by producing clothes, perfumes, & other trash are too greedy, dumb, & self-involved to inquire about such trivialities.

  10. Agnes says:

    So… They’re basically terrible human beings on absolutely every level imaginable. Watch them claim that they had no clue. And do some more fake charity PR bs just in time for the holidays.

  11. Girl says:

    Other than the ages (is 16 a typo? Child labor laws may not apply but I’m not familiar with international law), this is absolutely appalling and just another reason why this family and their ilk need to go away. Perhaps they can donate the money they made from these horrid labor practices and go live under such conditions for a year. I doubt they’d last a day.

  12. aenflex says:

    because they are ignorant fools who listen to business managers and cash register sounds. cha-ching!

  13. ladybert62 says:

    Big deal – everything nowadays is made in chinese sweatshops.

    I am tired of looking at their boobs though – ladies button up!

    • megan says:

      agreed. this is a non story. EVERYTHING is made in china, up to and including the gucci bags kardashians carry. and if it’s not made in china, they will import chinese workers into italy so they can still claim it’s “made in italy” (looking at YOU louis vuitton)

  14. Tierra says:

    This doesnt surprise me one bit.
    I almost cant wait to hear her phony story about how she didnt know about how her products and the products she endorses are being made. You would have to live in a cave to not know what working conditions are like in China sweatshops.
    I seriously hope this means their end is near.

  15. Dawn says:

    Yes of course their items are. Remember it is all about the money for these fame whores. Those of you who think they care about anything or anyone NOT directly related to the family are simply delusional. And now someone is reporting that it was Kris Jenner who broke up Kobe Bryant and his wife because he would not talk to Lakers’ management about keeping Odem but now wants Kimmie to date Kobe because it would be such a great coupling. Hopefully Kobe gives that piece a pass I know it would be hard cause Kobe likes sex but fingers crossed he just says NO.

  16. phlyfiremama says:

    Enough with this disgusting family already. They are hallmarks of some of the things that are terribly wrong with this country.

  17. Quest says:

    What a charitable bunch of twits.

    It does not matter how good an environment is or what kinda codes there are Mama Kris – child labor is exploitive and prevents children from normal childhood development but then again you are an expert on exploitation.

  18. DarkEmpress says:

    I hope their empire starts krumbling. one krappy product at a time.

  19. wallycally says:

    here’s the thing. this is not just indicative of the kardashians or even celebrity endorsed lined. this is true for all low priced goods. target, old navy, the gap, urban outfitters, anthropologie, zara, sears, jc penny, etc. the legal working age in china is 16 but it is common for young people from rural china to lie about their ages to get away from farm labor which is their only other option. by they i mean rural, uneducated, lower class people which in that region is the majority. there is always an out cry when this sort of thing is publicized but all the companies i mentioned previously continue to thrive. people need to put their money where there mouths are or shut up about it and accept that they are feeding this machine with their own dollars.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      Agree 1,000 %. Yeah the Kardashians sucks but unless all the outraged people want to stop buying from H&M, Old Navy etc then we sort of need to chill with the hypocrisy.

    • Carolyn says:

      Exactly. I don’t mind the Kartrashians being added to the growing list of companies being called out on this. At least consumers are aware and can made a choice. The only real core issue is that all manufacturers look for the lowest mfg cost every time. The Kartrashians are in good company – Nike and Calvin Klein also mfg offshore in similar conditions.

      • Kelly says:

        I think the difference between Old Navy et al. and “celebrity” lines is that Old Navy is part of a huge conglomerate – there is no “personal brand” there. When there is, there is more sense of responsibility. The obvious examples that come to mind are Kathie Lee and Jaclyn Smith (apparently many people on this board are too young to remember), and also Michael Jordan – all were called to public accountability because their lines were produced using sweatshop labor.

        Also, several years ago a law was passed in China making public figures liable for the quality of the goods they promote – for example, celebrities who appear in commercials for pharmaceuticals which are later found to have negative side effects. Also, China does have laws against sweatshops, mostly aimed at foreign corporations, but they have been very difficult to implement, partly because of the sheer scale of the problem, and partly because local officials have tended to ignore directives from the central government and have sought ways around them.

  20. Perry Rhinitis says:

    Labor costs are cheaper in developing countries, and sometimes they don’t have to bother with things like insurance. On the other hand, they will always find workers because people in those developing countries need the money. Because of the need for money, they’d do anything, even endure appalling working conditions.

  21. G says:

    Not a fan of the K’s but…..the US is awash with cheap third world goods. That’s the way it’s done. If it makes you feel better to buy it from Walmart instead of Sears and the Kardashians, go for it.

  22. Rachael says:

    MK&A does not make their stuff domestically. You should stick to what you know. Also, the Kardashians stuff is made by a licensing company and they have little involvement in where their stuff is made, and wouldn’t know how to comment on it if asked as they aren’t garment manufacturers.

    • Lady D says:

      Having little involvement in where or how their stuff is made does not absolve them of responsibility. Being their business, it makes it their responsibility. Kinda like ignorance of the law is no excuse. Same situation here. Happy to take the money, but unwilling to take any responsibility for how they got it. Makes them scum. No different than Naomi Campbell accepting blood diamonds.

  23. JaneWonderfalls says:

    When will this family be eliminated? Not necessarily because of this because I hate to be the bearer of bad news but every thing in the States is about cheap labor, not that this is okay because it;s not but that’s how this country operates. I guess I’m getting tired of the KKK and their plastic looking faces plastered every where. Looks like there is really no backlash the more people dis them the more popular they become…GO FIGURE!!!

  24. lucy2 says:

    I know most companies do this, but I’m not too sad that these hideous creatures are being called out on it – simply because they’ve clawed their way to fame and fortune and proven they’ll do anything for it, so now it’s coming back to bite them.

  25. Victoria says:

    Oaky, but the isn’t like 95% of the shit we own made in China? Our laptop, pc, iPhone, clothes, mp3players, gaming systems, are all made by some Chinese, Indian, or Taiwanese, child woman, or man, so while the Kardashians are shitty for doing it, they aren’t the only ones employing sweatshops to make their crap. Everyone is doing it, and we buy that shit up like crazy so let’s not act all holier than thou about it.

    The best way to combat this stuff is seriously to shop on e-bay. Those job are not coming back to the US, we have to deal with the fact that we are a country that is basically info and technology and other services only. Buy your shit on ebay. It’s already been brought, and you’re not buying it new. I got a barely used printer that would have been 150 bucks for 40 bucks. I brought my new cell phone that would have been 200 dollars for 80 and it’s just discontinued. You save so much money and you’re recycling goods.

    I’ve been buying this way for seven years now and it’s really streamlined my spending and I am contributing to the problem as less as I possibly can.

    • Lady D says:

      They say if you removed everything in your house that was made in China, your home would be empty.

    • Kelly says:

      You rock. I do this, too – as much as possible. But everyone is right in that it’s quite difficult to avoid goods that are made in China.

      • wallycally says:

        @kelly”: for some reason i can’t reply to you directly on my original comment thread. it may be true that in the public eye there is less of a sense of responsibility when there is no celebrity name attached to a brand but this is exactly the problem. these factories in china are only responding to the demand from the west and it is our responsibility to be educated about where our goods are coming from and why they are as inexpensive as they are. people think that should be able to buy a pair of jeans for $50 but don’t put 2 and 2 together about why they are so cheap. jeans should never be that cheap, neither should shoes. if you are buying something at that low of a cost you can bet it was produced unethically. and i am not just talking about the jeans or the shoes but also the denim, the leather, the thread, etc. its a long process to produce a single item and the cost reflects exactly how it has been produced. don’t mean to lecture, i hope i don’t come off as a bitch but i work in the industry and i have extremely strong feelings about this.

      • Kelly says:

        @wallycally, I agree with you. Personally, I know what $50 jeans actually cost, as well as $69 POS Nine West or Jessica Simpson or what have you shoes. That’s why 99% of the time, I buy premium jeans at the consignment store for about $30, coats at the Salvation Army (vintage black cashmere – $12.99!), and only buy new – on sale – when I need to. And I buy from Yoox, so it’s mostly Italian-made. I pay top dollar for bags and shoes, so they are all made in Italy, Spain, or France.

    • Norma says:

      truth is if we cleared Chinese sweatshop stuff from our homes we’d be shocked at how empty it would be! I had a vintage lamp from Italy…..turns out it was made in china to look old….sheesh.

  26. Dawning Red says:

    Overheard in a Chinese sweat shop the other day:

    “Daddy, why are we forced to pee on the clothes we just made?”

    “Don’t know son, all they tell us is it’s part of the Kardashian brand.”

  27. DesertRose says:

    There have been lots of news segments lately on Chinese factories, the working conditions are deplorable as far as hours and pay are concerned. Most of the labor force are females that have come from remote villages hoping to make money to send home. They are paid between $1-4 an hour (in most cases it is dependent on their productivity), work at least 14 hours a day, and end up coming home with $200-500 a month. many of the women skip meals because they don’t want to give the company 2 yen. Sad state of affairs, and of course the Kardashians are using it. They are in the majority of manufacturers, dependent on cheap labor so they can have a huge profit margin. Don’t buy their goods, not only are you supporting slave labor, you’re supporting famewhores. Look for tags that say Made in the USA.

  28. shoeaddict says:

    There is a less obvious reason, other than an increased profit margin, as to why the Whoretrashian’s use China’s sweatshops. They blatantly RIP OFF high end designers such as Balenciaga, Botkier, YSL, Givenchy. Botkier slapped them with a cease and desist order and SEARS removed one of their copycat bags from their shelves. You can’t have a large scale counterfeit business in the USA without being called out and shut down. Ironic isn’t it that they can only make money on the backs of slave labor where by they make even more money because of the slave wages. Ironic, too, is the fact that they sell these rip offs to their idiot fans while they only carry the originals around and wouldn’t be caught dead carrying the fakes.

  29. wunder says:

    These people are so foul.

    I’ve never-and never will-buy any of the junk they hawk.

  30. Palermo says:

    Anybody who isn’t a Kardashian isn’t human in their eyes, is anybody shocked by this. Most selfish family on earth.

  31. francesca says:

    Look at the label of what you’re wearing right now. If it says “made in china” then you’re just as bad as the Kardashians are.

  32. kimberly says:

    I hate defending the Cuntdashians but . . .


    Seriously anyone that is shocked is a complete idiot!

    You see all that Old Navy shit people are wearing and paying WAY TOO MUCH FOR? I laugh when I see the Old Navy logo and when I need shit and giggles I walk through an old navy store to watch the sheep pay too much for cheap ass man made fiber.

    Sweatshops are global baby! Can you say pennies on the dollar?

    People are f–king stupid not to think of that when they buy anything, and buying celeb gear is just so lame!!!! It’s sad!!!

  33. logan says:

    I blame this on mother Kris. She has been farming her kids out for years. You sow what you reap. Mama Kris wrote the book on exploiting children-her own!

  34. the original bellaluna says:

    Well, they’ve been pimping themselves out for years; why not poor Chinese labourers?

    And again: Am I the only one laughing my fraggle-rocking arse off at the Schadenfreude going on here? Because I think it’s hysterically funny!

  35. the original bellaluna says:

    OH, and the only thing I shop for at Sears are tools, tyres (maybe), and toddler clothes. (Sears used to have the BEST THING EVER! If your kid wore out the clothes prior to out-growing the clothes, they replaced them! FABULOUS for mums of little boys!)

  36. Criss says:

    I think the point everyone is trying to make is that many other country’s citizens are more technologically advanced. Many of the people who work in Silicon Valley are from different parts of Asia and India. Don’t buy China made. We already owe them $1.6 trillion, why give them more? Many all American brands are made in China.

  37. Cher says:

    How did Kim become a stylist when she herself desperately needs one?

  38. Sequined Pajamas says:

    I really hope the shoes Kim is wearing is not made in a sweat shop. I want those shoes!

  39. Dhavy says:

    Please Kaiser don’t defend them! We know their father used to be a lawyer so you will think they will be smart enough to not brand themselves that way but at the same time their father defended a killer so selling their asses to the devil for money should be no surprise

  40. Jover says:

    All these posts are great – I want to know why the talk shows, popular press, mags, still put them on their covers etc., has any sense of taste and decency been completely lost; we treat our political leaders like trash irrespective of party and ideology, and yet these pieces of animated dog doodoo are treated like royalty. Something is amiss.

  41. Viv says:

    Oh my God- did this really say ” The Kardashians are in bed with some pretty bad people.” ? WORD!
    Despite the seriousness of sweatshop labour this quote made my day.

  42. wallycally says:

    @kelly: YES! same. wish more people took an aware view of how they were spending their money. salvation army and goodwill are SO much better than old navy, urban outfitters, etc!

  43. samira677 says:

    I’m sure I’m going to be attacked but working at 16 is not child abuse. That’s the age most American kids began to work. It may even be younger. And I’m being serious when I ask but do celebrities really know where their products are made? Most of the time they are just lending their name and make minimal decisions. As many have said it’s a lot easier to find items made in China than USA. Not sure why the Kardashians are receiving such rage when so many other companies do the same thing.

  44. hetekyle says:

    I thought they were made in hell. No?

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  46. Callumna says:

    I thought being wh-res and public restrooms would be there low point.

    But now they have/use slaves.

  47. Mari says:

    OMG it just hits me. With all that tweaking to her face Kim’s trying to look like beautiful, surgery-free, model, teenager sister Kendall. What a loser.

  48. whatevs says:

    this is not surprising me at all. what does surprise me still is that kim is unashamed of her lard-legs and wears mini skirts to reveal her cellulide to the world. she and her family are really cruel.

  49. Dave says:

    How is it doing the Chinese workers a favor by closing down the factory and moving it elsewhere and leaving them without a job? Unless they’re being forced to work there at gunpoint they’re choosing to work there because they see it as their best available option. A better thing for Kardashian to do if she is compassionate, since she already has enough wealth to survive comfortably, would be to pay the workers more and order the management to ease up on them.

  50. soneka says:

    I dont know what to think or say coz its a cycle.
    Its a SIMILAR issue in my country, Zambia.
    Imagin wat wud happen to these poor pips if they dint hav these jobs.
    The solution is not to transfer the factories to the States but for these rich pips 2 actually hav expat. pipo on da ground to ensure that labour laws are followed and humane conditions implemented and maintained.
    Jus a thot.