We Get To The Bottom Of The Kylie Lip Kit Factory Drama

Photo: John Salangsang/ BFA/ REX/ Shutterstock.
Kylie Jenner's (at this point) iconic Lip Kit is a lot of things: hard to get your hands on, multicolored, multi-formulated, and the star of a music video. In fact, just yesterday it was the talk of the internet once again — but not in the sold-out-again-within-minutes way.
The factory where the products are manufactured is coming under fire for its alleged poor working conditions, with one (again, alleged) former employee going as far as to compare the factory to a sweatshop. So, what the heck is going on over there? Not to worry, we spoke with the CEO at Spatz and got to the bottom of it. But first, a little background on how it all started.
As Radar Online reports, employees from the Spatz Laboratories in Oxnard, California — where the Lip Kit lippies are produced — have posted anonymous reviews on Indeed (some dating as far back as 2012) about their not-so-fun experiences. "Early morning shifts long hours…No benefits. The turn over rate was high. I love that I could see how make up was made from start to finished but the down fall is that the make up particles made me cough and sick," one reviewer wrote in a post from February 2016.

In January 2016, one employee made claims in their review titled "Sweat Shop," that, "the pay is very minimal for the amount of work that is requested with no benefits and a long term of achieving until you are even reconsidered to be an actual part of the company."

Radar Online also revealed that the Spatz Labs were cited by the FDA in 2006 (which you can read up on here) mostly due to batch production and control record issues, as well as utilizing improper equipment.

The company released an official statement on the matter, stating: "Spatz Laboratories has over 60 years of experience in manufacturing and has always maintained the highest level of standards according to the United States labor laws." They go on to address the FDA claims, as well: "Spatz Laboratories is not regulated by the FDA and has not been inspected since 2006 at which time we were presented with an immediately implemented suggested corrective action...Spatz Laboratories completed and passed its most recent comprehensive third party social accountability and responsibility audit on March 3, 2015."
We spoke with Spatz CEO Mary Beth Siddons on the topic, and she drove home the fact that the company's employees — and their safety — always come first. "We continue to invest in the company with the ultimate goal of having a decent work environment for all of our employees, which include the highest ethical standards," she tells us. "The business is all about people and, as we continue to grow, it's in our best interest to take good care of them because when you've got highly engaged employees, the quality is higher, the output is higher, everything is better."

She goes on to address the health concerns brought up in the reviews, stating that the "sweatshop" comparisons are "false and fabricated." She says that all employees are required to wear the appropriate "personal protection equipment," regardless of what their jobs entail. "If we've got someone that's not wearing the PPE, we'll give them a warning, and if they do it again, then we'll free their career up because we take it that seriously," she states. "Safety is a big concern of ours and always will be. We have a moral and ethical obligation to keep our employees safe."

It's worth noting that not all of the Indeed reviews are negative — most of the positive ones date back to the pre-2016 work days. "I loved working here and would have gone back to them after the layoff but found a job which took me out of state," one employee wrote in 2014. "I like this Company for the products I was able to learn about. It was always something new to learn and do," another wrote in 2012. "Never a boring job and i got to stay busy which I love. The operators were awsome as well, great to be around all different kind of personality's I enjoyed that."

We've also reached out to Kylie's team for comment, as she's frequently seen visiting the factory (in what looks like proper protective garb), and will update this post when we hear back.

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