A living wage is a universally recognized human right.
However, as outlined in The GFA Monitor, the current wage rates in most garment producing countries are far below what workers need to reach a decent standard of living (“living wage”). Despite many brands’ efforts to promote living wages throughout their value chain, the progress to date remains slow.
Although most fashion brands do not pay the wages of production workers directly, they can make a difference by working with their partners to promote fair compensation and better wage systems underpinned by fair purchasing practices that will help end poverty for millions of garment workers globally and aid equitable global economic development, so closing the gap between developed and developing countries.
Featured in our Innovation Forum, these companies are paving the way for industry-wide transformation by promoting Better Wage Systems to ensure workers earn a living wage:
Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) is a non-profit organisation that provides a sustainable forest management solution. FSC places people at the forefront of its work standards because responsible forestry entails more than just protecting the health and resilience of forests but also the well-being of the people who live and work in them; community and family forest managers, Indigenous Peoples living on their ancestral lands, and workers whose livelihoods rely on forest products. Its core labour requirements offer transparency on how this is achieved.
Higg is the sustainability insights platform for consumer goods businesses that provides software and services for measuring, managing, and sharing supply chain performance data. It provides access to the Higg Facility Social & Labor Module, which enables the measurement of social impacts such as wages, working hours, and safety in facilities, to help value chain partners to improve every part of their global value chain.
Kno Global is a community driven platform that improves supply chain efficiency and employee engagement. To humanize the supply chain, the company places workers at the center of its solutions by cultivating relationships with them and transforming real-time data into actionable targets for factory managers to improve upon.
TINTEX is committed to providing the contemporary fashion, sport and lingerie markets with high quality, natural based, responsible jersey fabrics in accordance with responsible business and manufacturing practices. To stay true to its mission, it has identified the cornerstones of its Quality & Innovation, Environment, and Social Responsibility Policies, one of which is to pay the legal minimum wage, ensuring that all employees’ basic needs are met. Its recently implemented remote work policy contributes to its employees’ well-being by ensuring work-life balance.
PANGAIA is a materials science solution provider dedicated to environmental preservation. Because the company’s values include a commitment to the protection and respect of human rights, it combines greater transparency with its verification methods to understand the state of worker pay so it can progress towards fairer wages. For PANGAIA, this means ensuring it is a responsible buyer as well as creating a roadmap to understand and progress wages where it can positively impact its supply chain. For its efforts thus far, PANGAIA was certified as a Living Wage employer by the UK Living Wage Foundation. Its next actionable steps include adopting a living wage methodology and assessing living wage benchmarks in regions it operates in to comprehensively understand the wage landscape.
YKK designs and manufactures a wide range of fastening solutions. As the company believes that ‘no one prospers without rendering benefits to others’, YKK only partners with businesses whose employment conditions and health and safety standards, including remuneration and working conditions, are in accordance with laws and regulations of the countries in which they operate.
Ensuring Better Wage Systems in the fashion value chain is one of the priorities stated in the GFA Monitor: