US inflation is reflected in the value chain

Tens of millions of people work in the global garment and sportswear industry. The vast majority of them work extremely long hours, for very little pay. Fashion’s search for the lowest costs comes at a high price: the health and sometimes even lives of workers. Subcontracting work is the norm in the industry, often several layers deep. That means workers don’t get a regular contract, but a series of short-term contracts or not even that. Eighty percent of the estimated 60 million garment workers are female. In an industry notorious for less-than-decent working conditions, low wages, forced overtime and unsafe conditions, women are often deprived of maternity leave, child care and safe travel to work. These structural violations are made worse by gender based violence. However, international standards make clear that brands must make sure that all labour rights need to be respected and full remedy needs to be given when violations occur. Fashion brands have lots of nice policies listed on their websites. The problem is, still many of these are non-binding and voluntary.

2022 December, 2nd update

US inflation is reflected in the value chain. Reduced shopping during the holiday season in the United States and supply chains “returning to normal” have led to overstocked American stores with worldwide implications.  This is forcing suppliers in places like Vietnam to face a severe order crisis, especially in the textile, clothing, footwear and furniture sectors. (Read more)

2022 October, 28th update

Social Contract under pressure. Four billion people have no social protection, according to the International Labor Organization. The ILO’s director-general, Gilbert Houngbo, told panelists at an IMF seminar that four times as many jobs were lost during the COVID-19 pandemic as the global financial crisis, “placing additional pressures on already stretched and indebted households.” (Read more)

2022 October, 10th update

Fashion Checker for the social responsibility of fashion brands. New data and a new facility checker have been added to the fashion supply chain transparency tool. Fashion Checker is vital tool for journalists reporting on wages and conditions in the global garment and footwear industry, presenting up-to-date information on transparency in fashion brands supply chain. (Read more)

2022 September, 23th update

“Quiet Quitting”: global economy loses trillions of dollars due to Low Worker Engagement. A less maniacal approach to one’s profession and a greater regard for life   outside of work is emerging under the name of “quiet quitting”. The Guardian wrote that quiet quitting advocates reject the culture of the lust for work and limit themselves to performing only the tasks required of them. The trend is confirmed by a  Gallup report.   [here the report]. (Read more)

2022 August, 25th update

Cambodia: attempts at dialogue on wages and social security. Cambodia’s garment, footwear and travel goods industry has kicked off negotiations over a new monthly minimum pay for 2023, though talks remain in the early stages, the Southeast Asian nation’s wage board revealed Monday. [Cambodia Starts New Minimum-Wage Talks – SJ]. (Read more)

2022 August, 2nd update

Sri Lanka crisis: clothing and footwear, is it time to invest or take flight? As Sri Lanka’s new parliament took control Friday in the capital city of Colombo, global investors have been scrambling to take stock of the island nation’s rapidly shifting landscape. @SourcingJournal reports that Sri Lanka’s garment sector has largely been holding its ground through months of turmoil, even as manufacturers field a crush of calls from jittery investors and buyers. How long will it last with inflation above 50%? A social bombshell that could overwhelm fashion OEMs. (Read more)

2022 July, 15th update

Sustainability puzzle: technological shift and widening skill gap in the context of a demand for skilled workers greater than supply. In @fibre2fashion’s analysis, the question of skilled labour is hard to pose to the global economy at a stage when there is a general mismatch in the labour market across the world. Although several sectors now have adequate or more workers than required, many sectors are in want of a larger supply. [Labour and Skills – Key Pieces in the Sustainability Puzzle – fibre2fashion]. (Read more)

2022 June, 8th update

2022 Supply Chain Compensation and Career Report. Sourcing Journal informs that the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) released the findings of its 2022 Supply Chain Salary and Career Report that found the supply chain sector was minimally impacted by the Great Resignation. (Read more)

2022 May, 24th update

Gender Equality and No Discrimination is still a big issue in textile/leather worldwide. IndustriALL Union is launching a new chapter of the research on gender-based violence and harassment with a summary of the results from the garment sector, where women report that trade union presence in the workplace makes a difference in fighting gender-based violence. From Europe a positive example, where the social partners of the leather industry (IndustriALL and COTANCE) engage in a project on collective agreements. (Read more)

2022 April, 19th update

The #PayUp campaign was formed as a direct consequence of the Fashion Order Cancellation Crisis. The Pay Up campaign tells how, despite the return to profit in 2021 after the Covid-19 crisis, many brands are still refusing to pay wages. (Read more)

2022 April, 4th update

Indonesia, Islamic fashion asserts itself but neglects the precarious situation of female workers. Ecotextile descrive come sia difficile la situazione delle lavoratrici della moda in Indonesia, nonostante che un nuovo studio di settore condotto da Annisa Beta, docente presso l’Università di Melbourne in Australia, affermi che le designer e le imprenditrici indonesiane siano accreditate come la forza trainante dell’industria della moda islamica del paese. (Read more)

2022 March, 29th update

U.S. Blocks Li-Ning Shoes and T-Shirts in Port for Suspected Use of North Korean Slave Workers. Hong Kong’s Li-Ning goods (CNN Business) are being held by U.S. authorities after US Customs and Border Protection said an investigation indicated that the Chinese sportswear giant uses North Korean labor in its supply chain. (Read more)

2022 March, 8th update

European Union one step closer to corporate accountability. Clean Clothes Campaign appreciates the long awaited rules on corporate sustainable due diligence proposed by the European Commission: “Whereas the proposal falls short of our recommendations, the introduction of a binding obligation on companies to carry out human rights and environmental due diligence is a major step toward corporate accountability”. (Read more)

February 17th, 2022 update

Young Vietnamese turn fashion contractor closures into innovative startups. For young Vietnamese, the closure of textile and leather OEM factories can be an opportunity to open new businesses. A report by DanTRI on how young people returned to the countryside to create new jobs in the fashion industry. (Read more)

CLIA concentrates, for strengthening, the Chinese workers unions. The China Leather Industry Association (CLIA) recently revealed that progress has been made as a result of its joint campaign to create more grassroots unions for Chinese leather workers along with the China Alcoholic Drinks Association (CADA). Leatherbiz is reporting. Both bodies fall under the jurisdiction of the China National Light Industry Council, which operates as a kind of bridge between government and business. (Read more)