When clothing brands began cancelling orders and delaying payments to their factories in response to the halted sales and store shutdowns during the Covid pandemic, the impact of these lost payments was felt hardest by garment workers whose hands sewed the clothes. If factory owners failed to receive timely—and, in some cases, ANY—payments from big brands, wages to garment workers were delayed or withheld as well.
Brands could look the other way and delay paying for orders because contractual agreements often tipped in their favor. These contractual cushions, however, kept workers who were already struggling to pay for their basic needs to be left without the wages they desperately relied upon to survive. In countries throughout Asia, wages for garment work typically equates to the country’s minimum wage. Yet, minimum wages are often barely enough to stay alive; there is a huge gap between a mandated ‘minimum wage’ and what many human rights organizations define as a ‘living wage.
Remake shares an in-depth look at how much garment makers are earning in Asian countries and why it’s vital that the industry follows PayUp Fashion’s roadmap.