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Cotton On moves toward living wages

CottonOnThe Cotton On Group has become a member of Action Collaboration Transformation (ACT) as of May 2018, and looks to transition to offering a living wage to its employees moving forward.

ACT is a “ground-breaking initiative” that brings together global NGOs, retailers, trade unions, regulators and governing bodies to develop strategies to achieve living wages for workers through industry-wide collective bargaining linked to purchasing practices.

By addressing the structural barriers to living wages, the ACT believes it has the best chance of increasing garment workers’ wages in a scalable, sustainable and enforceable way, according to Jenny Holdcroft, assistant general secretary of Industriall Global Union.

The group joins other retailers such as ASOS, Debenhams, espirit, H&M, Kmart, Primark, Target, Tesco and more as part of the ACT.

Sonya Rand, Cotton On Group sustainability and ethical sourcing manager, noted the immense benefits that stem from working hand-in-hand with fellow signatories to effectively transform the garment and textile industry.

“At the Cotton On Group we believe that there are no losers when it comes to securing fair working conditions for every person within the garment and textile industry,” she said, “when we work collaboratively with our peers to achieve this, everybody wins.”

The company’s media release notes the concept of a living wage is complex, as individually a brand’s impact may be limited and without buy-in from major players globally, the realisation of living wages for all is unlikely to be timely or sustainable.

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