CO Data

Poverty and Pay in the Fashion Industry

There is a large and persistent gap between what garment workers are paid as a legal minimum, and what they need for a decent standard of living. Minimum wages paid are on average 42% to 55% the amount of an actual living wage.

At the root of many problems facing adult workers in fashion is low pay. The industry as a whole is notorious for its low pay – indeed the pursuit of lower costs like wages has driven fashion production to locate in low-income countries1. In some of these countries, it is true that the garment and textile sector pays more than traditional sectors such as agriculture, but even then, rates are still low.

Huge numbers of garment workers are not paid enough for a decent standard of living. 14 mill…