Irish fast-fashion retailer Primark is no stranger to slave labor accusations, but a letter discovered in a pair of socks purchased at one of the chain’s U.K. stores claims that Chinese torture victims appear in the supply chain.
Lucy Kirk recently shared a photo on Twitter of a note her father had found folded up in the bottom of his socks. Written in Mandarin, it’s allegedly from a 39-year-old man named Ting Kun Ding who claims he’s a prisoner from the Anhui province in eastern China and accuses his local government of corruption.
— luce (@distxste) December 10, 2015
“It was folded up in the bottom of one of the socks, which my dad found upon putting them on,” Kirk told Metro.co.uk. “I have been in touch with Primark, but some information I wasn’t willing to give them. I felt if I gave them too much information on the product they would be able to track this and there would be consequences for workers.”
A Primark spokesperson told Metro that until the product, the packaging and the receipt could be shared with the company, an investigation could not take place.
“We have been the subject of a number of hoaxes in the past,” the spokesperson added.
Last October, a similar note was found at the bottom of a packet of socks bought in a Penneys—the name Primark goes by on its home turf—in Dublin. It also claimed to be written by a tortured Chinese prisoner.
However, that incident was investigated and, according to a statement, Primark found “no link between the garment, the author of the note nor any evidence of forced labor.”