Vogue Business: Urgency mounts in Bangladesh as brands stay silent on wage increases

November 2023

Vogue Business reached out to 10 of the largest buyers in Bangladesh, according to Open Supply Hub data — H&M, Inditex, Walmart, Next, Lidl, Asda, C&A, Tesco, Aldi, Marks & Spencer, VF Corporation and Target — with four questions: are they increasing the prices written into their buying contracts to enable suppliers to pay higher wages to workers, particularly if they have expressed support publicly for higher wages? If they have increased or committed to increase prices, are they doing so over the long term — or will it be for one season only? What is the labour cost in their cost sheet with suppliers in Bangladesh — and what was that number one, three and five years ago?

The Bangladesh government is close to confirming a modest raise for garment workers who say it falls below a living wage. Brands could help sway the decision, but companies aren’t weighing in.

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