Zara own their factories
The price of a Zara sweater
«Respect»? This requires redistributions
Zara's business model is designed to maximize profits: a return on sales of more than 15 percent sets the target and shapes the relationships in the supply chain. Is there another way? What if workers from the cotton field to the textile factory to the shops received fair wages? In order to raise wages in production in Turkey and India to a living wage level, they would have to be multiplied by a factor of 1.9 to 3.0, depending on the production step. Nevertheless, the difference per sweater would only be 4.19 francs, slightly less than Inditex alone earns from it. If the other companies in the supply chain were also to forego part of their profits, this scope would be even greater.
So if Inditex really wanted to, living wages would be possible
If Inditex really wanted to, living wages would be possible, even without the retail price having to increase automatically. Utopian? It may still seem that way today. Possible? Absolutely.
For us, “respect” in the fashion industry means that those who produce the raw materials, the fabrics or the sewing of the clothes can make a living from their work - and that those who control the supply chains do not abuse their power to raise prices to press. The redistribution of power and profits within the supply chains requires arguments, negotiations and, if necessary, strikes to achieve better wages and producer prices. And it needs the solidarity of people who break out of their role as passive consumers - and make it clear that it must not be a question of perspective that the human right to a living wage is accepted.
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