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#PayUp - I am sure many of us have seen this hashtag trending on social media recently, we wanted to give you a quick overview of what it's all about and why we should care!
The #PayUp movement has prompted the released of $22 billion owed by large fashion brands like Levi’s, H&M and Zara, but this accounts for only half of the $40 billion worth of wages owed to garment workers globally in what has been tagged the biggest humanitarian crisis in the fashion world.
It is true that at the onset of Covid-19, many businesses faced losses and the clothing industry was not left out. However, it is just not fair that fashion brands would decide to cancel production orders from manufacturers, including those that have been completed or were already being made, in order to minimize their financial fallout. According to a research report, 91.3% of buyers refused to pay up production costs causing 58% of factories in Bangladesh to shut down operations and leading to many garment workers losing their jobs. Already, these workers are heavily underpaid, with many of them supporting large families. With no source of income, these workers will find themselves in dire situations on the streets of India, Cambodia, and even the United States. It is inhumane for these brands to hold back wages that have been rightfully earned. The #PayUp movement demands that these clothing brands pay up money duly owed to the clothing factories for work completed or costs incurred.
Supporting the #PayUp Movement
Petitions have been created by some labor rights groups like Remake pressuring and demanding the leaders of these brands to pay up. Along with signing these petitions on change.org, you can boycott brands that have refused to pay up and tag them on social media asking them to make a public commitment. In these times, we have seen that the impact of social media activism cannot be underestimated. Together we can make these brands #PayUp!
You can also donate directly to the garment workers through relief funds, check out Remake to find out how.
Sources: supportgarmentworkers.org, remake.world