How can garment brands make real progress on living wages? This complex question lies at the heart of FWF’s latest publication, ‘Living Wages: An Explorer’s Notebook’. The innovative guide for garment brands provides initial steps to answer this question, based on real-life experience.
The Explorer’s Notebook is the next step forward in figuring out the routes brands and factories can take to achieve payment of living wages. The Notebook defines nine obstacles that stand in the way of living wages, and offers some solutions for overcoming them. ‘For the first time, garment brands can access real life examples and concrete guidance on implementing higher wages,’ explains FWF Director Erica van Doorn. ‘For example on how to select a factory partner, collaborate with other brands and set the target wage.’
Go out & start exploring
Five frontrunner FWF members showcase what wage pilots can look like and share real-life stories of how they managed to increase workers’ wages by effectively involving them in the process. None of the stories is a claim to perfect results. But the cases offer proof that working around roadblocks to living wages is indeed possible. The user-friendly layout of the notebook makes it easy for brands to take steps towards improvement, even if they are new to the process of raising wages.
Garment workers need higher wages and there is no single, simple solution for it. Van Doorn: ‘It’s hard to know where to start, because there are so many obstacles that prevent living wages from being paid – from assessing wage benchmarks to ensuring increases reach workers.’
FWF believes that the best way to find solid answers is the FWF living wage mantra: ‘Start paying higher wages now. Analyse what worked and what didn’t. And then keep going.’
More information about living wages can be found on FWF’s Living Wage Portal.