LONDON – The #PayUp movement, a global coalition of garment workers, labour organisations and citizen advocates, has launched a long-term vision for change called PayUp Fashion, which lays out concrete, actionable labour rights goals. The announcement comes on the back of its successful campaigning for brands to pay for cancelled orders, which the movement claims has helped claw back US$22bn owed by big brands to their suppliers since March.
The next stage of the campaign will launch with a new website PayUpFashion.com which will provide a focal point to pressure 40 major brands and retailers to not only pay for cancelled orders, but also to ensure worker safety and increase transparency.
Among the initial organisations pledging support for PayUp Fashion are the Garment Worker Center in Los Angeles, the Fair Wage Network, The Union of Concerned Researchers in Fashion, Custom Collaborative, Extinction Rebellion, OwlSwap, in addition to Remake, AWAJ Foundation, and Stand Up Lanka.
In the coming weeks and months, PayUp Fashion will track the progress of brands like Nike, Walmart, Urban Outfitters and Levi’s “towards being truly ethical and sustainable.” In addition to tracking brand actions, the coalition will release mini campaigns via social media to leverage citizen power, keeping garment worker voices in the conversation.
“With PayUp Fashion, the #PayUp movement is putting forth a worker-centric vision for the future of fashion. Real systemic change is only possible when workers and citizens get together, which is why we will no longer allow brands and retailers to control the conversation or shape the agenda for labor rights,” says journalist Elizabeth Cline, PayUp Fashion co-author.
“The #PayUp campaign has been incredibly important for workers in Bangladesh, particularly female workers,” adds co-author Nazma Akter, founder of AWAJ Foundation. “When companies have not paid their bills and workers have lost income, it has affected all aspects of workers lives.”
“Many brands are most focused on profit and how to cut costs and therefore prioritise consumers and their products over women workers and how they are disproportionately affected by the injustices in their supply chain. While they provide charity efforts, they shirk their responsibilities to ensure basic rights for workers. Alongside the dire need for living wages, we want justice, freedom of association, an end to gender based violence and equal pay for equal work.”