Asia Pacific is home to more than 40 million fashion industry workers, yet for the vast majority, wages remain at levels well below what is needed to lift themselves out of poverty. The proportion of companies looking to improve wages continued to rise from 11 per cent in 2013 to 42 per cent this year. However, in most cases, wages were still below a living wage level and only applied to a portion of workers.
Since 2013, there has been a 30 per cent improvement in companies tracing second tier suppliers, while two and a half times more companies trace raw materials suppliers. These are some of the findings released by Baptist World Aid Australia.
Just seven per cent companies know where their cotton is coming from. Baptist World Aid urges brands to share this information because if they don’t disclose these list, or policies to mitigate worker exploitation, consumers won’t know their suppliers. More than 300 fashion brands have failed to lower the risk of worker exploitation in their global supply chains. The number of companies publishing full supplier lists has risen from 16 per cent to 26 per cent since last year. This year, Baptist World Aid created an online grading tool so consumers can easily search for their favorite brands and their related grades.