Together with Armedangels, Mini Rodini and Nudie Jeans, we’re working towards fair wages in the fashion industry.
To close the gap between a minimum wage and a fair wage, we are part of a pilot project with our supplier Mergu in Turkey. Together with like minded brands Armedangels, Mini Rodini, Nudie Jeans and Fair Wear Foundation, we are setting a new standard for factory workers. The goal is to go from a minimum wage to a living wage. The difference? Living wage takes into account what a person actually needs to be able to live a happy life, while minimum wage doesn’t go beyond the bare essentials like food and housing. In the case of Mergu workers it turns out to be a 42% difference.
The difficulty here is we don’t pay wages directly to the workers. We don’t own any factories. We pay fair prices for the garments we buy from the factory, but it’s hard to be sure what percentage actually reaches the people who make the clothes. Which is why Fair Wear Foundation has been working hard to implement a ‘True Costing Methodology’. One of the main reasons to implement such a radical open costing is to make sure they get insight into the payment of actual wages and to avoid negotiating against wages.
We believe sustainability requires a holistic approach. We’ve pinpointed the five most important factors we take into consideration and responsible production is an important pillar for us. But without transparency, ‘responsible production’ is just another term. This pilot is an important step in the process of gaining more insight. If you look at our CSR report you’ll see we work really hard to offer a high degree of transparency on all levels. We need that same transparency from our partners in production as well.
Together we can do it right. Happy people make better clothes.