ASIA: Retailers highlighted for failing supply chain workers
A report produced by The Clean Clothes Campaign, entitled: 'Tailored Wages', surveyed Europe's 50 leading fashion and sportswear brands to analyse what they are doing to pay a living wage.
Based on a multi-brand survey by Labour Behind the Label, the study revealed that while half of those surveyed include wording in their codes of conduct saying that wages should be enough to meet workers' basic needs; only four brands - Inditex, Marks & Spencer, Switcher and Tchibo - were able to demonstrate clear progress towards implementing this. Even these, the report noted, have a long way to go before a living wage is realised for the garment workers.
"Although a living wage is a human right, shockingly none of Europe's leading 40 companies are paying it," said Anna McMullen, lead author on the report. "The research shows that while brands are increasingly aware of the need for a living wage it is yet to translate into any meaningful action.
"Most commitments are confined to codes of conduct and the pages of CSR brochures, which is a major disappointment. Millions of women and men worldwide depend on the garment industry - it is vital that Brands push beyond simple paper commitments and take concrete steps towards paying workers a living wage."
The survey highlighted a small number of brands that are undertaking pioneering work, including Swiss t-shirt manufacturer and leisurewear brand Switcher, which has set up a fund to pay an additional 1% on top of the price paid to the factory, which will go directly to the workers. Spanish retail giant Inditex is also undertaking joint work with global union IndustriALL.
However McMullen adds: "Whilst this is all innovative work, it remains in the pilot stage and workers can wait no longer."
In key garment producing countries such as Cambodia, there are ongoing disputes over garment industry wages.
Cambodian garment and footwear workers currently receive US$100 per month. Workers however, have been seeking an immediate raise in their minimum wage to US$160 per month.
"The role of companies in ensuring a living wage is paid is vital as they have the ability to change prices and purchasing practices that would ensure wages allowed garment workers to live with dignity," Labour Behind the Label says.
Debenhams, Matalan and North Face did not return a request for comment at the time of going to press.
An interactive databank with intelligence on the major apparel sourcing countries
Inditex operates a limited presence in the US, but plans to continue expanding in major metropolitan areas in order to increase its brand visibility. Whilst the company is the largest apparel company ...
Inditex is focused on the search for flexibility in adapting production to French demand. 2013 was a stronger year for the company, with growth in every category in which it was present due to being i...
Inditex Group China continues its successful multi-brand strategy with different brands meeting the needs of various consumers in China by directly owning the brands represented by Zara. Thanks to its...
Inditex’s strategy is focused on maintaining its leading position in apparel and footwear in Morocco, notably by implementing regular promotional activities at key Zara, Stradivarius, Massimo Dutti an...
- What the EU-Vietnam trade deal means for duties
- Ultimate frontier Myanmar uplifts Bogart Lingerie
- US apparel import growth led by Bangladesh
- Are apparel prices really rising?
- US apparel retailers' January 2016 sales roundup
- Sears looks to lift apparel via sourcing changes
- Direct sourcing helps M&S narrow the gap with Next
- Eco-friendly garment factory opens in Bangladesh
- Clothing and sports chains in activewear battle
- Nike accelerates digital strategy with new hire
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar
- Wearable technology: The future market potential for smart garments and e-textiles
- Global market review of denim and jeanswear – forecasts to 2021
- Practical Price Negotiation
- Wearable Technology Market by Product, Application, Type, & Geography - Global Forecast to 2020