Right to Reply: Tailored Wages
What we said about Bestseller: 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.
Update: Although the above remains true, Bestseller have disclosed information about their supply chain make up that we failed to clearly represent in their profile.
Number of suppliers: 293 suppliers producing at 709 factories.
Main production countries listed: China, Turkey, Bangladesh, Italy and India.
Bestseller have also agreed to meet with the Clean Clothes Campaign to discuss how to develop their work in this area.
What we said about G-Star: G-Star has yet to incorporate a commitment to pay the living wage in its code of conduct, although the company let us know when we sent their profile that it plans to do this in early 2014. Our experience is that without this public policy statement in place, it is difficult to get a whole company on board with changes at all levels. We hope this is addressed soon.
Update: Since the publication of the report, G-Star have updated their code of conduct to recognise the need to pay a living wage. Their code now says "Wages should always be enough to cover the basic needs and also should provide some discretionary income."
G-Star also has a map on its website disclosing names and addresses of its suppliers.
Update: Gucci have been in dialogue with the Clean Clothes Campaign in Italy and the Italian unions working in its supply chain about the living wage concept in a European context. Some work on this is in the pipeline. Gucci also made a full statement in response to our report. It is available here.
Update: H&M gave a full press statement in response to our report. We have also written a full statement back. See here for more details
What we said about Mexx: This company did not respond to our request for information and makes no information available on its website.
Update: We have found that Mexx has published a code of conduct online and gives some information about its sourcing policies here . Mexx identifies itself as a member of the BSCI (Business Social Compliance Initiative) and adopts BSCI standards in all aspects of its policies. This information can lead us to assume from the prepared answers we received from all other BSCI members, that they are doing little to engage in the issue of poverty wages in their supply chain.
Update: Since the publication of Tailored Wages, WE have told Clean Clothes Campaign that they have adopted a ‘wage ladder’ tool to assess wages in their supply chain. We would consider this to be a credible benchmarking tool - putting real figures on what a living wage is, thereby allowing companies to quantify and communicate the goal they are working towards. We welcome WE's decision to adopt this tool and await further information from the brand on the benchmarks they are using and their strategy for implementation.