The Fast Fashion Industry
Fast fashion generates vast revenues, with recent sums of USD 3 trillion being quoted, using a business model that turns around enormous quantities of cheap clothing produced with very short lead times by globally-sourced cheap labour.
It depends on mass consumption at low prices: “pile it high, sell it cheap”. In short, fashion as a disposable product.
Multinational fast fashion companies are able to quickly move their production to countries with lower wages. The risk of losing this investment acts as a disincentive for countries to improve their labour laws and provide fair minimum wage rules. The result is labour protection is kept to a minimum and essential rights to freedom of association are not guaranteed. In some countries women make up 80% of garment workers.
The Fundamental Right to a Living Wage
The Lawyers Circle, in partnership with TrustLaw and the Clean Clothes Campaign, launched a report at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit on Thursday May 11th 2017. The report sets out the legal argument that a living wage is a fundamental human right, and that companies and governments have a responsibility to uphold this right. It has been developed with the assistance of lawyers based in fourteen countries where large-scale retailers source garment production, including India, Bangladesh, Turkey and Mexico. It examines the relevant labour laws and regulations in these countries, as well as their implementation and control mechanisms.
Read the full report here: Fashion Focus: The Fundamental Right to a Living Wage.
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Be part of the change
This though is just the beginning of the work The Circle wants to do to ensure that workers in the garment industry — who are predominantly women — receive a living wage. We are planning a two-year campaign to stop the current “race to the bottom” and to propose a new architecture for the garment industry to ensure compliance and accountability for workers to receive a living wage. Our first step was to take the report to the European Parliament, where it was debated on 20 February 2018.
You can be part of the change by donating to this project and helping create a “race to the top” to protect the right of millions of workers to receive a living wage. Every contribution will make a difference. To donate, click on the button below. Thank you.
The Circle strives to support projects that are working towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Global Goal 5, Gender Equality.
The Lawyers Circle’s work targets Goal 5’s Target 5.C, to adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels.