Sigmund Hegstad

A living wage for garment workers is part of his vision for a just and sustainable future, a future that is in our hands.

Volunteer and leader of the student group Framtiden i våre hender (The future is in our hands) in Oslo, Norway

Sigmund is a dancer and is studying Chinese Studies at the University of Oslo.

“Last year we were involved in the 'No More Excuses' campaign for a living wage. We targeted H&M because they are so big in Norway. We put 12,000 small cards in the pockets of fashionwear in H&M stores, calling on customers to sign our petition for living wages.”

“We also put pressure on Voice Norge, the parent company of several major Norwegian brands, to sign the Bangladesh Accord on Building and Fire Safety. And we demanded that they are transparent about their supply chain: which factories are they buying their fashion wear from? They have improved a little, as we can now look up the list of their suppliers in their office, but they have not made it publicly available online yet, like we demanded.”

“We try to focus as much attention as possible on each case, to make the retail companies feel insecure about their image. For next year (2013), living wages will be our main theme.”

“We're not telling anyone to boycott specific stores, as this could have adverse effects on the workers in producing countries. And it is hard to say which shops are doing well, as there is so little transparency about the supply chains of fashion brands.”

“I don't think it's fair that our way of living has such a negative impact on so many other people around the world. What gives us the right to take advantage of other people and the environment? That's why I am involved in these and other issues, such as environmental protection.”