Gal-Dem.com features PayUpFashion in a story about the devastation facing female retail and factory workers of color as fast fashion companies like Topshop go under. They write:
Arcadia Group (owners of Topshop, Topman, Dorothy Evans, Miss Selfridge) announced they were going into administration in December 2020, the reaction for many went little further than mourning the loss of a favourite make of trouser style… [However,] Topshop is the tip of the iceberg. The British high street, already weakened by the rise of online shopping, has been dealt a further terrible blow by the Covid-19 pandemic. A staggering 176,718 jobs have been lost across the retail industry during the past year according to a recent report by the Centre for Retail Research (CRR). With Boohoo announcing its purchase of former retail giant Debenhams, without taking on any of their 118 stores or workforce, this figure is expected to increase to 200,000 in 2021… [Unfortunately], it is women of colour who have been dealt the shortest straw…
But it’s not just those selling clothes who are feeling the pinch. Beyond the shop floor, high street closures have massively impacted garment workers, a group that predominantly consists of women of colour around the globe. “As stores began to close and sales started to plummet, global brands refused to pay for an estimated $40 billion worth of finished and in production goods that garment workers had spent untold hours sewing,” says Ayesha Barenblat, founder of Remake the social advocacy organization for fashion, based in San Francisco, California. [Barenblat is also the co-author of the PayUp Fashion 7 Actions for change.]
The article also mentions the progress of #PayUp and our campaign for wages that are rightfully owed. The #PayUp campaign has recouped $22 billion of the $40 billion in cancelled contracts from companies including Zara, Adidas and Gap who have agreed to pay for their orders completed and in-process from the start of the pandemic. Unfortunately, Arcadia have yet to #PayUp, leaving garment workers in the lurch.
Read the full story here.