T-shirts sold at Marine Le Pen rally found to be made in Bangladesh despite ‘made in France’ policy

Chloe Farand
Marine Le Pen speaks at a a campaign rally in Villepinte, near Paris, on 1 May: Reuters

Souvenir T-shirts sold at a Marine Le Pen were made in Bangladesh, despite the far-right candidate consistently championing “made in France” as a key pillar of her economic programme.

The far right presidential candidate has repeatedly said she would defend French interests against globalisation and the relocation of factories abroad. But the memorabilia sold in her name does not appear to be an example of the “economic patriotism” she has so vigorously advocated.

Labels on most the polo shirts, which were on sale at Ms Le Pen’s meeting in the northern Parisian suburb of Villepinte earlier this week had all been cut out, preventing buyers from finding out where the clothes were made.

But reporters from BFM TV found the shirt displayed on a mannequin had an untouched label stating the piece of clothing had been made in Bangladesh - a country well known for its textile manufacture and cheap labour.

Asked whether the shirts were not a contradiction to Ms Le Pen’s campaign pledges, the stall holder selling the memorabilia said the embroidery work had been done in France.

“This is not at all contradictory to Ms Le Pen’s programme because we are asking for products to be made in France and the embroidery work on the T-shirts was made in France," he told the TV station.

Marine Le Pen has repeatedly championed French products (Independent)
The T-Shirt's label said it had been made in Bangladesh (The Independent)

“So the finished work was made in France. The problem for the supplier was a problem of workforce, which was not competitive enough to make in France. This is why we are fighting for French production lines.”

Asked whether he could explain why the labels had been cut from every single T-shirts, the vendor said he could not answer the question.

Ms Le Pen stepped down as leader of the far right Front National party last week, claiming it would allow her to represent better the interests of "all French people".

Despite party's patriotic stance, last year T-shirts made for the party were found to have been produced in Morocco, according to the HuffPost Maghreb.

In 2012, France Soir reported that the official Front National online shop was selling shirts made in Bangladesh.

The Independent has approached the Front National for comment, but none had arrived at the time of publication

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