Fashion Brands Need to #PayUp

I’m done with brands who don’t pay their suppliers. I’ve experienced it first-hand (court case pending) and I know the stress it causes. Now imagine you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck, not knowing how to feed your family, without any government support or any ability to speak up.

Nobody deserves to experience this.

Especially when they’re dealing with billion-pound fashion brands.

Sign the #PayUp Petition

Life has changed for all of us since the arrival of Covid-19. I personally felt its effects, despite working for myself, and working out of my home.

For the fashion industry, over $3 billion worth of orders have been put on hold or cancelled. This immediate halt has caused many factories to shut down, with garment workers sent home without severance, savings, or access to healthcare.

Now keep in mind that the majority of garment workers are women – and women are already disproportionately affected by the pandemic. With no source of income, millions of women will end up starving and suffering.

It’s why I’m writing this post urging you to sign Remake’s petition get fashion brands to #PayUp. It’s our responsibility to call out the fashion brands who aren’t paying their suppliers, despite the work having been done, and despite the billions of pounds these companies hoard away for themselves in bonuses and profits, leaving their third-party manufacturers high and dry.

Fashion Brands Who Haven’t Paid Up

And for transparency purposes, here are the fashion brands who are yet to pay their manufacturers due to Covid-19:

  • American Eagle
  • Anthropologie
  • ASDA
  • ASOS
  • Bestseller
  • Burton
  • C&A
  • Fashion Nova
  • Forever 21
  • Free People
  • Gap
  • JCPenney
  • Kohl’s
  • Li & Fung
  • Mango
  • Mothercare
  • Primark
  • Ross
  • Topshop
  • Under Armour
  • Urban Outfitters
  • Walmart

I will be sure to update this list upon hearing that payments have been made.

This campaign was created by Remake, who estimates that 50 million garment workers’ lives are on the line due to this crisis. That includes workers in India, Myanmar, Cambodia, and the USA.

They recently spoke to factory owners and advocacy leaders in Bangladesh, where many brands have “promised” to pay for in-production orders but placed no time commitment on their payments, meaning that even though they’re getting the good press, they’re not actually fulfilling their financial responsibilities to suppliers.

EDIT 23/04: Fashion Brands Who Have Paid Up

As of 23rd April, Remake has confirmed the following brands have now paid their suppliers:

  • Calvin Klein
  • H&M
  • Kiabi
  • Marks & Spencer
  • Next
  • The North Face
  • Target
  • Tesco
  • Tommy Hilfiger
  • Timberland
  • Vans
  • Zara

This just shows what a difference this kind of action makes – but there’s more to go, so please sign if you haven’t already!

Personal Payment Issues…

This petition struck a particular chord with me because I’m going through a similar situation right now. Behind the scenes of this blog, I’m a small business owner, writing for and working with sustainable brands. I work with these brands to help promote their missions and products, and support business for good.

Sadly, some of the agencies and intermediaries who often hire me to do that work don’t hold the same moral values that these brands do.

Right now I’m currently going through small claims court over a payment that was owed for months, with much of my calls and emails ignored, and only when I filed a court claim did I receive any payment at all. The stress of it has been difficult: that payment represented one month’s rent.

But – I had a system.

I had a legal structure to refer to. A contract. Confirmation in writing. Phone numbers, email addresses. And finally, a Government agency to contact them on my behalf.

Many of these women do not have that. They are hired by third-party factories, made to work damned hard, and then let go with a shrug.

They deserve better.

P.S. Shout-out to TWIIN, the London-based L.A. concept store who gifted me this pair of Boyish Jeans. Sustainable jeans and sunshine style; I’ve been living in them since they arrived!

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