Fashion giant Inditex is under investigation by Brazil’s ministry of labour after one of its contactors was found to be using employees in sweatshop conditions.

The Guardian reports that 52 charges have been listed against Zara’s parent company by the Brazilian government after 15 workers were “rescued” from a São Paulo factory sub-contracted by AHA, which produces 90% of the retailer’s clothing.

The head of the investigation Renato Bignami told the newspaper that workers lived in the factor and worked 12 hour shifts in dangerous and unhealthy conditions.

Inditex said it could not be held responsible for “unauthorised outsourcing” but would compensate workers because AHA had violated its code of conduct.

Prosecutor on the Giuliana Cassiano Orlandi was not satisfied by the response. She said: “AHA is a logistical extension of its main client Zara Brazil. The company is responsible for its employees. It’s raison d’être is making clothes and it follows that it must know who is producing its garments.”