A LIVING WAGE IS A HUMAN RIGHT. IT SHOULD COVER THE BASIC NEEDS OF THE WORKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES, ALLOW FOR SOME SAVINGS AND MUST BE EARNED WITHIN A 48 HOURS WORKING
WEEK- Continental Clothing
Once in a while, someone has a great idea.
I had one once, but I forget now what it was.
A very recent ‘great idea’ has come from our friends at Continental Clothing and it is typical of their ethical innovation as a clothing manufacturer and supplier.
A new concept of FAIR SHARE has been created to ensure that the workers in the garment manufacturing facilities in India, that are used by Continental Clothing, now benefit from a pilot project to ensure they receive a living wage.
Under the current schemes of FAIR WEAR, FAIR TRADE and GOTS certification, there isn’t a mandate to ensure that a living wage is paid. They only go as far as to ensure that the minimum wage for that region is paid. These are two very different things as we all know from living in a first world nation where there is a considerable gap between min wage and living wage.
FAIR SHARE is relatively simple but it does come at a cost to the consumer.
The idea is that a specific range of clothing has been developed by Continental called FAIR SHARE in which there is a retail loaded premium of 10p for a t shirt and 54p for a hoody which is passed directly to the workers involved in the production of that range.
In collaboration with the Fair Fashion Network and BSD Consulting, the scheme began with the necessary research to establish what the living wage should be for an employee in the manufacturing region of Tirupur, based on a family unit of 2 adults and 2 children.
The current government legal minimum is 285 Indian Rupees for an 8 hr shift.
The recommended minimum by this scheme is that workers should receive 466 Indian Rupees per shift.
This is 14,048 Indian Rupees per month which is approximately £160.
Since January the 1st 2016, 10% of the factories output has been the FAIR SHARE range with the additional revenues being divided equally amongst all of the workers in the factory. This means an uplift in wages of an additional 650 Indian Rupees per month which means a total monthly salary of approximately *7775 (£88.30) Indian Rupees.
This currently falls way short of the target but hopefully as the consumer embraces the idea that a small increase in the purchase cost can have a direct effect to the worker, then the factory may be able to reach 100% manufacturing under this new scheme to lift all employees to the target.
We applaud the initiative and we hope it can take hold.
We hope that the market is not tired of the next new FAIR initiative and that is can see this simple initiative for what it is. There are no smoke and mirrors, this is not a ‘greenwash’. This is real and direct and can significantly improve lives.
This is not the emperor’s new clothes, these are the people’s new clothes.