19 Jul 2022

Demand a living wage for the people who make our clothes – Sign now


Blogpost by Max Havelaar France

What is behind the price of the clothes we buy from fast fashion brands? About 60 million people around the world work in the garment and textile sector, out of which 80% are women. On average they earn two times less than a living wage needed to live in decent conditions. To help address this injustice, Fairtrade is now supporting Good Clothes, Fair Pay, a Fashion Revolution and Fair Wear Foundation campaign.

Why is this the situation in the fashion sector?

The textile and fashion industry is largely based on the exploitation of the workers who make our clothes. To produce on tight deadlines, in large quantities and at low prices, businesses often cut corners to lower production costs. The supply chains are long, complex, and lack transparency and accountability. Often workers are not aware about their rights and are frequently paid less than a living wage. The average wage of a worker in the fashion industry represents only 0.6% of the cost of a t-shirt.

A living wage is a human right, not an option.

A living wage is a human right, not a luxury. It is a prerequisite for breaking the cycle of poverty and for the fulfillment of other human rights, such as access to health, education, nutritious food, etc. The fashion industry is not doing enough. Most fashion brands make profit at the expense of the human rights of workers in their supply chain. While some companies have made voluntary commitments in the past years, they have not prompted sustainable transformative change for workers at sector-level.

Voluntary commitments by companies are not enough, and legislation is needed to ensure companies respect and uphold the human rights of workers. This is why Fairtrade is a partner of the Good Clothes, Fair Pay campaign. Together, we can push the European Union to require brands to pay a living wage to the people who make our clothes.

Let's demand change

How? By collecting one million signatures before July 2023! If we do, the European Union will have to respond. The EU is the largest importer of clothing in the world, therefore, acting at EU-level can lead to real impact for millions of workers. Please note you must be a European Citizen (no matter where you currently live) in order to support the petition.

Firm supporters of social justice

We believe that a living wage is a human right. We are a partner of this campaign and have been working for several years towards making this right a reality for workers around the world.

Since the introduction of the Fairtrade certified cotton in 2005, our goal has been to extend this approach to the entire supply chain for textiles to address the challenges of the sector. We launched the Fairtrade Textile Standard in 2016, which applies to all supply chain actors.

In addition, we advocate at EU level for the adoption of due diligence legislation that requires multinational companies in all sectors to identify, prevent and mitigate the risks of negative impacts on human rights and on the environment resulting from their activities. We demand that this legislation be ambitious, so as to have a real impact on the rights of producers and workers all around the world.

Together, let’s demand a living wage for the people who make our clothes and push for human rights in the textile sector.

Sign the petition