To be really effective and meaningful, we need to change things across the entire industry. We can’t go one factory by one factory. We need to ensure that all workers in the garment supply chain have a living wage. Not just those who make goods for primark, or any of the other ACT members, but all workers.
We became a founding member of ACT because we have always believed that we must work collaboratively to bring sustainable improvements to working conditions and living wages in the garment supply chain. By bringing brands together through the ACT platform, we can establish the mechanisms to support collective agreements between worker and management representatives. Only through this joint work can we reach this aim.
Director of Sustainability
Making sure workers in our supply chain are paid a living wage might sound simple, but in practice it requires action and cooperation from a broad range of stakeholders. That’s why we’re proud to be a founding member of ACT – a collaboration of brands, retailers and industriall pushing for living wages. Our industry needs to find a way to remove the competitive element of labour cost and we believe industry-level wage agreements are the best way to achieve that.
Change requires a new form of collaboration between buyers, workers and suppliers to find solutions to overcome the constant competitive downward pressure on wages and working conditions.
ACT is the perfect example of a successful collaboration between responsible brands and their international trade unions to pursue fair living wages in the garment industry enabling a pre-competitive approach. We are confident that the most sustainable way to address these challenges is through supporting freedom of association and industry-wide collective bargaining.
The ACT initiative is an example of how companies have been working together with trade unions, governments, and others to address some of the most severe and systemic labour rights abuses in their supply chains. It illustrates the promise of collective action to leverage change. Importantly, initiatives like ACT are not just about voluntary philanthropic contributions to development, but also the product of a recognised responsibility of companies to address severe human rights risks in their supply chains. In meeting this responsibility, ACT makes a critical contribution to sustainable development as well.
Former Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Business and Human Rights