Shopping på samvittigheten
Handler du regelmessig hos H&M, Vero Moda, Jack & Jones, eller gjerne dyrere klær som By Malene Birger eller Tiger of Sweden? Hvordan kan du vite om klærne du kjøper er lager av arbeider som jobber under slaveforhold? Er dyrere klær nødvendigvis produsert mer etisk? Ifølge en ny rapport fra Clean Clothes Campaign er svaret nei. CCC´s nye rapport ”Tailored wages” forteller oss hvordan kan vi kan finne etisk produserte klær til oss selv og familien.
Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) er en internasjonal allianse som ifølge dem selv ”…jobber for å forbedre arbeidsforholdene og støtte arbeidernes innflytelse i den globale klesindustrien” (”Tailored wages”; s. 2). CCC bygger nettverk med organisasjoner verden over og har sitt internasjonale sekretariat i Amsterdam. Siden 2004 har de publisert en årlig rapport som avdekker arbeidsforholdene og lønnsnivået i klesindustrien. De gir også en oversikt over hvordan globale bedrifter i bransjen behandler problematikken, og gir dem en vurdering ut ifra dette.
”A living wage is a human right. Yet the scandalous truth is that the majority of workers in the global fashion industry cannot afford to live with dignity, and earn no more than €6 a day in an industry worth over €34 billion across Europe. The Clean Clothes Campaign believes that no company can truly claim to be working ethically if the people who produce its clothes are paid less than a living wage.”
I sin årlige rapport bruker CCC en fargeskala for å vise hvor godt bedriftene ligger an i sitt arbeid for å sikre verdige arbeidsforhold og levelønn for arbeiderne. Med dette gir de også en anbefaling som forbrukerne kan forholde seg til om de ønsker å handle hos kleskjeder som er mer bevisst og som behandler sine arbeidere godt.
Fargekoden CCC benytter er som følger:
- Info wanted: Bedrifter som ikke responderte, eller som ikke ønsket å svare på CCC´s spørsmål.
- SVART: Bedrifter som gjør lite eller ingenting for å sikre sine arbeidere nok lønn til å leve på (levelønn).
- RØD: Bedrifter som anerkjenner behovet for levelønn, men som foreløpig gjør lite for at det skal skje.
- ORANSJE: Bedrifter som nevner arbeid mot levelønn, men som ikke gjør nok enda.
- GUL: Bedrifter som har startet arbeid for å øke lønninger, men som ikke gjør nok enda.
- GRØNN: Bedrifter som gjør et signifikant arbeid for å sikre levelønn for sine arbeidere og som kan demonstrere dette med økte lønninger.
Den triste sannhet er at CCC ikke fant noen bedrifter som fortjente å få fargekoden grønn. Kjente billigmerker som Zara, Bershka, Massimo Dutti og kjeden Marks & Spencer fortjente å merkes gul, mens H&M, Monki og Cheap Monday ble oransje. De dyrere merkene som Peak Performance, Tiger of Sweden, By Malene Birger og Soaked in Luxury ble alle market sort. Det er altså ingen automatisk sammenheng mellom billige varer og bruk av slavearbeid i produksjonen. Dette viser med andre ord hvilket ansvar som ligger på de dyrere merkene med tanke på at de faktisk kan gi sine arbeidere mer i lønn siden produktene koster mer. De velger allikevel å ikke gjøre det, mens billigkjedene som får mindre per plagg faktisk prøver å gjøre noe for å forbedre arbeidernes lønn og arbeidsforhold.
Her følger en liten oversikt (hentet fra CCC´s rapport) over bedrifter vi som nordmenn er kjent med, enten fra Norge eller fra vanlige feriedestinasjoner:
|Inditex||GUL||Zara, Bershka, Stradivarius, Pull & Bear, Massimo Dutti, Oysho, Zara Home, Lefties, Uterqüe||Inditex’s commitment to working with trade unions to increase pay, demonstrated by its International Framework Agreement, is commendable. While the focus on freedom of association is very welcome, the focus on delivering improvements to wages needs to
be improved and developed if workers in the company’s supplier factories are to start seeing concrete improvements to their economic well-being.
|Marks & Spencer||GUL||M&S Collection, Limited Collection, Per Una, North Coast, Portfolio, Indigo Collection, Autograph, Classic,
Blue Harbour, Collezione, Savile Row Inspired, Big & Tall
|Marks & Spencer (M&S) is undertaking significant work to make sure that the prices it pays are enough to ensure the basic needs of its workers are met. The company’s ‘Plan A’ commitment to pay a living wage is commendable. M&S has yet to disclose the figures it is using to benchmark a living wage and much of its model relies heavily on purchasing
practices – without real data we remain unsure about the real progress being made.
|H&M Group||ORANSJE||H&M, Cos, Monki, Weekday, Cheap Monday, & Other Stories||H&M has taken some big steps forward in its work in the last 6 months, and has come out in support of a ‘fair living wage’. However, its strategy lacks a living wage benchmark. The wage increases that are currently possible at a factory level through negotiation, when the starting point is only a fraction of the amount needed, will not reach an actual living wage sufficient to feed and support a family. The other elements of H&M’s strategy – capacity building with suppliers, advocacy for increased minimum wages, and adjustments in purchasing practices – may help, but the crucial commitment to a living wage benchmark is a necessary next step for making living wages possible.|
|Adidas Group||ORANSJE||Adidas, Reebok, TaylorMade, Rockport||Adidas is engaging in work to assess its wage practices across Asia, but as a company it is still not willing to define what a living wage means in its business. By failing to do this, and passing on responsibility for wages in supplier factories to factory owners, the significant change needed for workers will never happen. Adidas must engage in identifying a living-wage figure and changing pricing in order to enable its payment.|
|Primark||ORANSJE||Primark, Atmosphere, Cedarwood State, B&W, Denim Co., Love to Lounge, Young Dimension, No Secret, Ocean Club, Secret Possessions||Primark’s submission shows some proof of real work that will improve wages for workers making its clothes and a high level of commitment and practice. However, at a strategy level, projects are still at pilot or research stage and rely heavily on Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) base code rather than long-term building blocks to pay a living wage.|
|Puma||ORANSJE||Puma, Cobra Golf, Tretorn||Puma is engaging in work on a number of topics. It has adopted a credible living-wage benchmark (the Asia Floor Wage) as part of its wage ladder approach. There is still some way to go, though, on strategy for how to deliver this to its suppliers – productivity won’t
|Nike||RØD||Nike, Nike Golf, Jordan, Hurley, Converse||Nike supports the principle of a living wage, but in practice little is as yet being done to increase wages above the minimum level.|
|Bestseller||RØD||Jack & Jones, Vero Moda, Only, Name It, Pieces, Selected, Outfitters Nation, Object Collectors Item, Vila Clothes,||Bestseller recognises the principle of a living wage, but as a company it has a long way to go if this is to become a reality for workers in its supplier factories. No evidence was given of work to increase wages above the minimum wage, aside from trainings for management and staff.|
|G-Star||RØD||G-Star Raw Denim||G-Star needs to make the leap of commitment towards a living wage. It is great that it is monitoring the wages it pays against real living-wage figures, but unless it puts this into its company policy, this support for the principle of a living wage is meaningless and the gap will not be bridged.|
|GAP Inc||RØD||Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, Athleta, Intermix||Gap’s submission, although containing many fine words and sentiments, shows little proof of real work that will improve wages for workers making its clothes. This is disappointing. Gap’s proposals to look into productivity projects and ensure it is paying the minimum wage are also sadly insufficient.|
|Asics||RØD||Asics||Asics accepts the principle of a living wage, but in practice applies the legal minimum wage or industry benchmark. Good intentions are two a penny, actual commitment is needed. As for a “broader approach to wages”, what is more important than the fact that a wage should be enough to live on? This is surely the starting point.|
|Mango||SVART||Mango, H.E. by Mango, Mango Kids, Violeta||Mango has yet to make any commitments at all to ensure workers in its supplier factories receive a living wage, even in its own code of conduct, although it claims it does agree with our definition of a living wage. A living wage must be paid as a basic salary, excluding any extra, discretionary bonuses, as it is only the basic wage that workers can be sure of receiving. Simply “encouraging” suppliers will not be sufficient to ensure wages are improved to a living-wage level.|
|VF Corporation||SVART||Bl.a.: Lee,Nautica, JanSport, Wrangler, Eagle Creek, The North Face, Riders By Lee, Reef, Timberland, Napapijri, Vans||VF doesn’t recognise the principle of a living wage as part of its responsibility or policy. Company engagement in local education and health projects is all very well, but does not solve the problem of poverty. It is embarrassing that a company of this size is not engaging in this important issue.|
|IC Companys||SVART||Peak Performance, Tiger of Sweden, By Malene Birger, Soaked in Luxury, InWear, Part Two, Saint Tropez, Designers Remix, Matinique||As with Lidl, Aldi, WE and others, IC Companys has simply repeated back to us the answers provided by the BSCI, without engaging in the issues. Very little evidence was given of any work to address the problem of low pay. Nothing in the answers provided by this company indicated to us a serious engagement in the need to increase pay to a living-wage level.|
|Promod||SVART||Promod||We are pleased that Promod is willing to work on the question of a living wage and recognises it as the next step in its CSR supply-chain policy. Linking this to increased productivity can be an incentive for buyers, but this cannot be the only answer offered to workers, who have to be paid a decent wage regardless of the need for companies to meet market prices.|
|Esprit||SVART||Esprit, Esprit Casual,
Esprit Collection, Esprit Sports, Edc
|Like Lidl, Aldi, WE and others, Esprit has simply repeated back to us the answers provided by the BSCI, without engaging in the issues. Very little evidence was given of any work to address the problem of low pay. Nothing in the answers provided indicated to us a serious engagement with the need to increase pay to a living-wage level.|
|Gucci||SVART||Gucci||Gucci says it produces 100% of its goods in Italy, where it says rights are upheld. However, the company has more than 3,000 subcontracted suppliers and it is unclear to us what its policy is for upholding rights in these workplaces. Previous case work found some Gucci products (uniforms for employees) being made in Turkey. More effort than a simple statement in a policy document is needed.|
|Versace||SVART||Versace||Versace says it produces 82% of its goods in Italy, 7% in other European countries and just 2% in Asia. However, we would not consider Italy to be a ‘low risk’ country in terms of labour rights. Little evidence was given of work to ensure that workers making Versace products have their rights respected. More engagement is needed than issuing a paper code of conduct.|
|Levi Strauss & Co||SVART:
|Levi’s, Dockers, Denizen, Signature by Levi Strauss & Co||Levi Stauss & Co.’s new strategy on, among other things, ‘economic empowerment’ lacks any real commitment to increase wages – the thing that workers need the most. Healthcare, maths classes and meal programmes are all very well, but these needs could be met by paying a living wage. LS & Co. need to re-evaluate and get back on track.|
|United Colors of Benetton, Undercolors of Benetton, Sisley, Playlife||This company did not respond to our request for information and has limited information on its website. Benetton has a policy that promises a living wage for workers, however no evidence has been given as to how a living-wage plan is implemented. Without evidence to prove otherwise, we suspect that little is being done to make this a reality.|
|Diesel, Diesel Black Gold, 55DSL, Diesel Kid||Diesel did not respond to our request for information, and has no relevant information available on its website. It is therefore safe to assume the worst: that it has no engagement with ethical trading at all.|
|Giorgio Armani, Armani Collezioni, Emporio Armani, EA7, Armani Jeans, Armani Exchange, Armani Junior||This company did not respond to our request for information, and the little information available on its website gives nothing away. It is therefore safe to assume the worst: that it has no engagement with ethical trading.|
|Desigual||Desigual did not respond to our survey but got in touch at a later date to send us its code of conduct and annual report. No information is available on its website about the living wage, labour rights or ethical trading. We are glad to find out that Desigual does pay a consultant to make “action plans” that follow up on its social auditing, and hope that this work includes initiatives to ensure wages meet basic needs. Desigual seems to be at the beginning of the road towards ensuring this vital right is upheld.|
|Mexx||This company did not respond to our request for information and makes no information available on its website. It is therefore safe to assume the worst: that it has no engagement with ethical trading at all. Has living-wage benchmarks? No.|
|Hugo Boss||Hugo Boss has basic information on minimum-wage payment within its code of conduct and a section on sustainability in its 2012 annual report. Other than this, there is no evidence of any work being done within supply chains to ensure workers are being paid a living wage. All in all very disappointing for such a high-profile brand.|
|Replay, Replay & Sons, Red Seal, We are replay, White Seal||Replay does not accept the principle of a living wage in its policy and is doing no work to ensure that workers who make its products earn enough to live on. Simple compliance with the minimum wage is a legal duty, but the human right to a living wage is a responsibility that Replay must take steps to ensure. No evidence of this work is yet available|
|Louis Vuitton||Vuitton did not respond to our request for information, and makes no information available on its website. It is therefore safe to assume the worst: that it has no engagement with ethical trading at all. Has living-wage benchmarks? No.|
Om du ønsker å lese hele rapporten til Clean Clothes Campaign for 2014, kan du lese den her.