Oxfam’s New Report Names Brands Who Aren’t Paying Workers Fair Wages

Kira Simpson

Oxfam has just released a new report called “What She Makes”, naming Australian fashion brands trapping garment workers in poverty cycle by not paying fair wages.

On average, just 4% of the price of a piece of clothing sold in Australia goes toward workers’ wages in garment factories. 

Source: Deloitte Access Economics for Oxfam Australia, 2017

The report showed that workers are being paid as little as 39 cents per hour. The minimum wage in Vietnam is the equivalent of 64 cents an hour. In China it’s 93 cents and in Bangladesh it is as low as 39 cents an hour.

If brands were to pay living wages within their supply chains, Deloitte estimates it would cost them less than 1% per garment. That’s 10 cents on a $10 t-shirt.

ethical fashion

ethical fashion

A living wage should be earned in a standard work week of no more than 48 hours. It should provide, for a worker and their family, a decent standard of living. This includes food, housing, healthcare, clothing, transportation, utilities (energy, water) child care and education with some money left over for emergencies / savings.

Want to see how the big brands in Australia stack up? Check out the company tracker here.

Kira Simpson

Kira Simpson is a sustainability activist, climate optimist and founder, and editor of The Green Hub. Her own sustainable living journey began five years ago when she realised our choices matter. What we eat, where we shop, what we wear, how we live, these choices have the power to shape the kind of world we want to live in. Since launching The Green Hub in 2016 she has grown the blog to become a platform for sustainable fashion and conscious living helping people make lifestyle choices which are kinder to the planet.