Un(der)paid in the pandemic

An estimate of what the garment industry owes its workers

The Covid-19 pandemic has had direct and catastrophic consequences for garment workers. In response to a sudden drop in consumer demand, brands cancelled and refused to pay for orders. As a result, factories were forced to close and dismiss workers en masse, who were often sent home without notice or pay. The impact from the loss of regular pay for millions of garment workers is compounded by the fact that most workers only earn poverty wages and live in countries where social protections are the weakest in the world.

The purpose of this report is to demonstrate the breadth of the lost wage ("wage gap") workers face in 7 garment producing countries. The wage gap, although based on only rough estimates, indicates the amount of funding that is needed to make workers whole.

The report aims to hold brands accountable to their responsibilities to workers in their supply chains and calls on global brands to make a wage assurance to workers in order to fill the devastating wage gap.