Legislator Urges Loro Piana to Address Allegations of Exploiting Indigenous Peruvian Workers

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TL/DR –

Representative Robert Garcia has raised concerns about luxury fashion house Loro Piana’s treatment of Indigenous Peruvian workers who source the rare wool used in its products. He challenged the company, a subsidiary of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, to explain why its prices have increased while the amount it pays workers has decreased. Loro Piana defended its practices and highlighted its conservation efforts in Peru, but Garcia said he was unsatisfied with the response and would continue to press for changes.


US Congressman Garcia Challenges Luxury Brand Loro Piana Over Indigenous Workers’ Compensation

California Democrat Representative Robert Garcia is questioning the compensation practices of luxury design house Loro Piana. Garcia, the first Peruvian-born person to serve in the U.S. House, is concerned that Indigenous workers in Peru sourcing rare vicuña wool for the brand’s high-end knit clothing are not being fairly compensated.

In a letter to Loro Piana executives, Garcia asked the fashion house to explain its pricing structure, which sees products ranging from $500 to $30,000, while allegedly reducing payments to those harvesting the raw wool. He states that while Loro Piana’s prices have increased, the price paid to the Lucanas community for fibers has fallen by one-third in just over a decade, causing the villages’ revenue from the vicuña to fall 80 percent, according to Garcia’s letter.

The tension between the century-old Italian brand and Garcia highlights how lawmakers leverage their platforms to weigh in on issues of personal importance. Garcia believes consumers should know about potential exploitation behind products they aspire to own.

Garcia’s interest in this issue was piqued by a Bloomberg report exploring the relationship between Loro Piana, a subsidiary of the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton luxury empire, and Peruvian Indigenous communities who harvest and sell vicuña fur. Vicuña wool, often referred to as the “fiber of the gods,” is one of the most expensive fabrics available, contributing to Loro Piana’s status as one of the most sought-after brands within the conglomerate led by the world’s wealthiest man.

Matthieu Garnier, the chief executive of Loro Piana North America, disputed the Bloomberg report and Garcia’s inquiry. He emphasized the company’s conservation efforts in Peru and argued that it had significantly contributed to the recovery of the vicuña population from near extinction due to overhunting. Garnier stated that Loro Piana pays workers “in accordance with local practices” and compensates the organizations responsible for the harvest. He did not address specific claims of reduced payment in recent years.

However, Garcia remains unsatisfied with the response and will continue to press for changes. He believes that simply investing in education and infrastructure improvements is insufficient, especially given the exploitation often faced by lower-income communities, particularly those that are native or Indigenous.

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