The cost of labour debate
A debate about the real wage cost of clothing that has been running on just-style over the past week started with a look at labour costs in Bangladesh, asked why wages in the country remain so low, and offered some suggestions to help apparel sourcing companies calculate - and implement - a living wage.
It is well-known that sourcing decisions are not simply based on labour costs. But a comment piece on just-style earlier this month has prompted Doug Miller, Professor (Emeritus) of Worker Rights in Fashion, to hit back with his own analysis of the real wage cost of clothing – and what he believes is the gross undervaluation of garment assembly.
The vexed question of a 'living wage' continues to tax some of the major apparel retailers and brand owners. But how can a sourcing company calculate a living wage, let alone ensure its implementation? Doug Miller, Professor (Emeritus) of Worker Rights in Fashion, has some suggestions.
In the ongoing debate running on just-style about labour costs in Bangladesh, David Birnbaum asks why wages in the country remain so low?
The cost of labour is just one element that needs to be taken into account when it comes to evaluating supplier factories and countries. And, as David Birnbaum shows here, cost doesn't necessarily correlate with market share.
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