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People are threatening to boycott Gorman over their latest Instagram post.

Melbourne-born fashion label Gorman are copping flack on their Instagram account for the first in a series of posts introducing workers who make their clothes.

The post features a photo of a Chinese factory worker holding a sign carrying the words “I made your clothes”.

“Hi, I’m Liao, a knitter at C.Partners factory in China,” the picture is captioned. “I have been working here for 6 years. I love gormans (sic) knit designs, especially the colours.”

The quote is followed by a statement from the brand expressing their pride in the “ethically-sourced” merino knits made by Liao and his team and is accompanied by the hashtag #whomademyclothes.

The hashtag is the mark of a Fashion Revolution campaign to increase awareness of the manufacturing processes underpinning the global fashion industry.

Instagram users were unimpressed, however, chiming in with comments accusing the brand of having  a “knee jerk reaction” to a recent report awarding umbrella company Factory X, who part-own Gorman, an F grade for ethical manufacturing.

“An independent audit has awarded you an F, it’s going to take more than a staged photo PR move to assure ethical shoppers,” one user wrote.

Another said they had lost confidence in the label writing, “I adore your designs but I won’t feel comfortable with buying them until I know the people making them are comfortable while doing so.”

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Many have labelled the post “unethical” , while yet more threatened to boycott the brand altogether:

“Can we please have images of the factory floor, information about wages, a copy of workers contracts, and a certification from a trade monitoring body rather than a glossy pic thanks?

“I have no issue with manufacturing being outsourced but you need to be transparent about it. This post gives details about the textile source but absolutely no solid details about workers conditions.

“I will not be buying Gorman clothes anymore.”

An ex-Gorman staffer jumped in to defend her former employer, pointing out Factory X only owns a small percentage of the company and calling for an independent assessment of their manufacturing processes.

“An awkward picture? For sure. A daggy comment? Yep. Is Liao paid a liveable wage under acceptable working conditions? I hope so but it is hard to say without physically flying there to check it out, therein lies the problem for consumers,” she wrote, but furious customers weren’t swayed.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” wrote one. “‘Hi, I’m Ling and I really love working in a factory for minimum wage because they have pretty colours here.'”

Another argued they’d “completely missed the point”.

“We don’t need to know if your workers love the prints, we love the prints, and we are desperate to get back the proud feeling we had rockin’ your awesome and crazy patterns and knowing that it was produced ethically,” they wrote.

“Unfortunately ‘trust us’ doesn’t work. Please, please come out and say you will be fully transparent.”

More than 90 per cent of clothes bought in Australian are imported from Asia.

While transparency in our supply chains does not ensure ethical manufacturing, publishing the location of factories is a crucial step in making sure companies can be held to account for the conditions of their workers.

According to their website, Gorman “closely monitor the entire supply chain and all stages of production”, regularly auditing their suppliers.

A spokesperson from the label told Mamamia customers had been “misled” by the report, saying the F grading was a result of “failure to reply not a failure to comply”.

“As a business we continue to address our social and ethical responsibility and take it very seriously,” the spokesperson said.

The original post has attracted nearly 500 comments and spawned a petition.

UPDATE:

Lisa Gorman has sent a statement to Mamamia.

“We have a social and ethical policy in place which must be adhered to by the factories that manufacture Gorman,” she said.

“In the coming months we will be publishing our audits online. It is clear that this is what our customer wants most and we are happy to provide this.”

Feature image: Instagram (@gormanclothing)

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