Not exploiting others has always been one of the guiding principles of Lost Shapes - so much at the heart of what we do that it was only recently I thought to spell it out more clearly. But there is always the knowledge that we might be able to go that bit further, be that bit fairer. And now we've found a way.
Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity.’
Any government that cares about its people is going to make sure they get a decent minimum wage, right? Surely? It's a human right after all! But what if that government prioritises winning International business, and the best way to compete is to keep their costs low? And those costs are people's wages? Sometimes we hear clothing companies guaranteeing that they pay minimum wage, and that sounds kind of reassuring: but minimum wage is very different to Living Wage. Living Wage is calculated on what a worker should earn to cover basic needs and those of his/her family, without working more than 48 hours. Labour Behind The Label have worked out some numbers for Asian garment makers, and it's pretty shocking - let's look at the countries where most of our Lost Shapes garments are made:
In Bangladesh the Living Wage is worked out at 29,442 takas a month (approx £300): the minimum wage would cover just 18% of that.
India is slightly better, with a living wage of 18,727 rupees a month (approx £231), and the minimum wage covering 62%, but that still leaves a monthly shortfall of 38%.
This is why I'm really excited to be moving over to FairShare garments for Lost Shapes. They are still the same great quality and cut and still 100% organic cotton, but now they're made from Fairtrade cotton too. And for every t-shirt we buy from the supplier we pay 10p extra FairShare premium, which goes directly to the poorest workers in the factory in India, to help bring them up to the Living Wage - just 10p!
And to make it even better, we're choosing to absorb this extra cost ourselves, so the price to the Lost Shapes customer stays the same. Good really keeps getting better.
Nb. This is going to be a gradual change, limited by availability of styles, and progressing as we run down current stocks. Individual product listings will tell you what you're getting. Either way you can be reassured that we're taking the needs of the people who make your clothes very seriously. And we'll carry on making great clothes greater..
NO MORE BLOGGING
I stopped writing this blog a while ago - social media just seems a more responsive way to share ideas these days (plus I never got 'round to it!). I'll leave these posts up for now for anyone who wants to get a bit more of a sense of what's behind what I do.