Since 19 July 2022, the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) ‘Good clothes, fair Pay’ has been running to call for legislation on living wages for the people who (mass) make our clothes. The year-long campaign will require at least one million signatures from EU citizens to ask the European Commission to legislate on this important issue.
‘Good clothes – fair pay’ calls for legislation for living wages in the global fashion industry.
Companies that sell clothing, textiles and shoes in the EU should be obliged to take measures to ensure living wages in their supply chains. Brands and retailers will be required by law to assess wages in their own supply chains, identify the gap between actual wages and living wages and publicly report on their progress in this regard.
Why is that so important?
Currently, most of the people who produce our clothes are paid starvation wages, while the brand manufacturers continue to make huge profits. As the world’s largest importer of clothes and one of the largest fashion markets – with an expected turnover of over 260 billion euros in 2022 – the EU must finally take action against this unfair and exploitative model. Each of us has the power to change this disparity and ensure garment workers are paid a fair wage for their hard work. To achieve real, industry-wide change, fashion companies must be held accountable.
We need 1 million signatures from EU citizens to demand more fairness in the fashion industry.
The fashion industry employs tens of millions of people worldwide and 1.5 million in the EU – most of whom do not earn a living wage. Despite working long hours, they usually have no access to healthy food, decent housing, medical care or schooling because the statutory minimum wages set by the governments of the clothing producing countries are not enough to live on. That needs to change. And we can help with that.
Garment workers, mostly women, earn on average 45% less than they need for themselves and their families.
The situation for workers has been made worse by the Covid-19 pandemic. Hundreds of thousands of workers have gone unpaid as major brand manufacturers canceled orders for goods already in production. This has created a severe humanitarian crisis as workers lack a social safety net and cannot cover the cost of food, healthcare and shelter.
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Credits: Director: Anna Ginsburg Illustrator: Viktoria Cichoń Production Company: Strange Beast Sound designer: George Grinling