Female garment workers in Bangladesh are some of the worst affected by this scandal. instagram/nailaaaa_._

Before you start reading, sign this petition.

The cracks beneath the glossy exterior of the fast fashion industry have started to reveal themselves. Fortunately, the instant connectivity of social media is fuelling a raging resistance to the mistreatment of garment workers by brands like Forever 21 and Topshop.

The Instagram account @remakeourworld is driving a social media campaign to call these brands to #PayUp the money owed to their respective garment workers. These brands must be held accountable for paying for produced orders – without such payment, many workers face homelessness and starvation. This widespread call for action has been amplified by other social media platforms with a vast following, namely @diet_prada.

instagram/lovelyboydesigns

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association has shared that 1,150 factories in Banglades have reported more than $3 billion in cancelled or suspended orders, which impacts more than two million garment workers. If workers don’t receive timely wage payments during factory shutdowns, they will have no financial means to pay for shelter, clothing, or food. These workers are being treated as disposable life, by multi-million-pound international fast fashion brands. (Source: instagram/diet_prada)

Working conditions are already substandard:

  • 80% of garment workers are women aged 18-35 most of whom have no access to maternity leave.
  • In Haiti, the daily minimum wage for export apparel workers in Haiti is 420 gourdes (about $5.07), over four times less than the estimated cost of living. –
  • Often these workers are often forced to work 14-16 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • The conditions in the factories themselves are often cramped and unsafe
  • Workers are intimidated verbally or physically to prevent them from joining unions, in an attempt to gain rights.

(Source: Instagram/chicksforclimate)

One notable brand guilty of involvement in this scandal is Kendall + Kylie, owned by Global Brands Group, who refused to pay its garment suppliers for orders produced in February and March following a drop in sales caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Kendall + Kylie have displayed grossly contradictory behaviour on social media, displaying performative activism and yet threatening legal action against @remakeourworldinstagram/remakeourworld

Recently, @remakeourworld received word from a Kendall + Kylie representative that they do not have “current” orders with Global Brands Group and will pursue legal action if @remakeourworld didn’t remove their posts and apologise.

The vacuous activism performed by Kendall + Kylie on social media, encouraging their followers to sign petitions and reposting BLM hashtags and infographics, undermines what is left of their integrity by their outright mistreatment of garment workers. The misalignment of “Kendall + Kylie” values becomes painfully apparent, whilst they gleefully hop on the BLM social media craze, yet neglect to justly pay their garment workers in Bangladesh. This demonstrates no less than a pure contradiction of action and intent. 

Brands that are not paying their workers

Kylie Jenner

Kendall Jenner

Cardi B

GAP inc

URBN (Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Free People)

Forever21

Fashion Nova

Walmart (Asda)

JCPenny


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Kohls

AEO (Aerie, American Eagle, Tailgate)

Primark

Arcadia (Topshop)

H&M

Brands that are paying their workers

Adidas

Nike

Marks & Spencer

Next

Target

Tesco

Under Armour

UNIQLO

VF Corp (Dickies, JanSport, The North Face, Vans) 

instagram/remakeourworld

What can you do?

  • Sign this petition on change.org to support 
  • Boycott the brands which have not paid their workers by not buying their products
  • Support the PAYUP campaign on social media, by reposting on Instagram and Facebook, and supporting their posts.

With this fierce social media drive, Remake have made major victories: since launching the campaign on March 30, 2020, 18 brands have agreed to pay up, the most recent being Levis. You can make a difference! Support this movement on social media, sign the petition, and do your bit.