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Zara Clothes Come With Hidden Notes from Unpaid Workers

FILE - In this Friday, Nov. 3, 2017 file photo, people exit and a branch of fashion retailer Zara in an upscale Istanbul neighbourhood. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, File)

The fast fashion retailer Zara has become a reliable mainstay in millennial closets thanks to its plethora of affordable, trendy clothes that can be purchased new each season without much thought.

But for shoppers who picked up some Zara items this fall, a surprise waiting inside the clothes may have forced them to pause and reconsider their purchases after all.

According to Newsweek, shoppers have found notes inside their Zara clothing this month from workers who claim they did not get paid for their work.

Take Action: Help Women Around the World Through the Products You Buy

“I made this item you are going to buy, but I didn’t get paid for it,” read the tags, which were found in items sold in Turkey, according to the Associated Press.

Zara’s clothes are made by outsourced manufacturing companies, and the notes reportedly came from workers at Bravo Texstil in Istanbul, which also produces clothing for Mango and Next. Workers say they are owed months’ worth of pay.

Global Citizen campaigns on the United Nations Global Goals, including Goal 8, Decent Work and Economic Growth. You can join us and take action on these goals here.

A petition on change.org was launched two months ago by the workers, who say that 155 workers were left short-changed when their boss stopped paying them and then suddenly disappeared after creditors showed up at his factory.

More than 20,000 people have signed the petition so far.

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“We made these brands’ products with our own hands, earning huge profits for them,” the petition says. “We demand now that these brands give us the basic respect to compensate us for our labour. We demand no more than our basic rights! We call on the international community to support our struggle, sign and share to support our campaign!”

Zara told Refinery29 in a statement that the company was creating a “hardship fund” for the workers to cover the unpaid wages and benefits, and that it was committed to finding a “swift solution” to the dispute.