A Living Wage
Credit: Better Work, ILO/ IFC.


In the fashion industry


Living Wage Project News



Multinational fashion companies generate vast revenues (recent sums of USD 3 trillion have been quoted) and the majority use a business model that relies on globally-sourced cheap labour – a workforce that is predominantly women (in some countries women make up 80% of garment workers).

Frustrated by a lack of significant progress to attain decent wages for these women, The Circle began the Living Wage Project with one goal – to establish a legal mechanism that will oblige companies to pay garment workers a living wage.

Towards a Legal Solution

In our most recent report – Fashion Focus: Towards a Legal Framework for a Living Wage – we presented an in-depth legal analysis of EU precedents that support living wage legislation, and from this developed an initial proposal for a living wage regulatory structure. The report was launched and its findings discussed by key stakeholders at the first UK Living Wage Symposium we convened in London on 8th November 2019.

You can download the full PDF report here: Fashion Focus: Towards a Legal Framework For a Living Wage
Or read it using the link below:

The Fundamental Right to a Living Wage

We launched our first report – Fashion Focus: The Fundamental Right to a Living Wage – at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit on Thursday May 11th 2017. The report sets out the legal argument that a living wage is an internationally recognised fundamental human right and that companies and governments have a responsibility to uphold this right. Our research demonstrates that the world’s largest 14 garment production countries all have a legal minimum wage set far below a living wage.

This report was developed in partnership with TrustLaw and the Clean Clothes Campaign.

You can download the full PDF report here: Fashion Focus – The Fundamental Right to a Living Wage
Or read it using the link below:


We are incredibly proud of the collaborative effort that goes into our publications and welcome any third party to use our research and findings to inform and progress their own work in protecting human rights. However, as a huge amount of resource have gone into this research, we kindly ask those who do use our findings to appropriately reference and acknowledge our organisation. For any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

The Lawyers Circle

The Living Wage Project is a project of the Lawyers Circle. You can read more about The Lawyers Circle work here.

Global Goals

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.

Shufia is the sole breadwinner for her family of four. She had been working at the same factory for eight years, but when Covid-19 hit, the factory closed, leaving Shufia without work or income.

Now the factory is partially open, but her section remains closed. Her husband is sick and she was unable to provide his medication. Although The Circle has provided emergency grants to deliver essential supplies to garment workers and their families, this crisis has shown us that the need for a living wage and legislation to protect workers is needed now more than ever.