Protecting Garment Workers

About the Initiative

“Protecting Garment Workers” by Remake to address the long-term impacts from the economic fall-out of declining sales in the retail sector on garment workers’ lives. This includes advocating for brand sustainability commitments to include worker wages and protections, the implementation of more equitable contracts between brands and factories, and pushing for greater transparency around purchasing practices to create systemic change.

Why is now the time to act?     

“Firstly, we need to act because garment workers are on the brink of starvation and time is of the essence with the fall forecast for the garment industry showing upwards of 30% retail contraction. Currently, our Pay Up work is vital to hold brands accountable for their cancelled orders, assure wage payments, and use leverage to unlock funds from public institutions. Secondly, fashion’s most essential workers are falling sick. Garment workers are increasingly vulnerable due to job losses, a rise in COVID-19 infection rates, and limited access to health care or severance payments.”

What is your vision of change for the global economy with this initiative?

“In the future, we aim to get brands to honor contracts and wages. Our advocacy work will hold brands accountable to pay for their orders in a timely manner and to work with other actors to provide direct relief efforts. There continues to be billions of unpaid dollars left to unlock for garment makers from brands we are currently petitioning.

Another structural transformation that we are pursuing is to prioritize worker realities by documenting the ongoing impacts of the pandemic on workers’ health and livelihoods. With factories opening up around the world while infection rates are on the rise, it is critical to keep the press, brands, and public actors engaged with garment workers’ needs.”

How do you plan to leverage RVF support?

“The RVF is advising us as we create a worker-centric roadmap for the fashion industry’s recovery, as well as amplifying our advocacy work. Finally, we appreciate RVF’s efforts to connect us with other donors.”

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