Why is ActionAid working on the issue of global garment workers’ rights?  

The global fashion industry is one of the largest employers of women workers in low-income countries. There are 35 million women garment workers worldwide – women make up 80% of garment workers across the globe – and many of the clothes sold in Australian stores are made by women in countries like China, Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia. 

The fashion industry has provided new employment opportunities for women in low-income countries. However, it is also plagued by exploitation, with poverty wages and poor working conditions entrenched across the industry. While Australian and international fashion brands continue to cash in huge profits, women garment workers are left wearing the cost. 

ActionAid’s She Wears The Cost campaign demands that brands step up and uphold the rights of the women who make their clothes.


Who are we targeting?

Why are we targeting Nike?

Over 1,200 garment workers lost their jobs – the majority of them women – when Cambodian garment factory Violet Apparel closed down last year. Violet Apparel made Nike products.

A year later, workers are still demanding unpaid wages, benefits and severance payments, while Nike refuses to take responsibility for the workers who make their clothes.

Watch this video

See what we wrote to Nike and the company’s response.

Why are we targeting Best & Less and The Iconic?

Thousands of women have died whilst working in garment factories making the clothes we wear. The worst disaster was the 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh. 1,138 workers died, and a further 2,500 were injured.

The International Accord is a legally binding agreement for worker safety which aims to prevent these disasters. But it will only be successful in achieving worker safety gains if international brands sign on – and two Aussie brands are missing from the list of signatories.

We’re calling on Best & Less and The Iconic to stand with the women workers making their clothes by signing on to the International Accord today!

 See which Australian brands have signed onto The Accord

Take action

Here are 3 ways you can take action for women garment workers today

Join the activist network!

Interested in doing more for women's rights? Do you want to bring the She Wears the Cost campaign to your community? Become an activist today!

Join our Activist Network!

We look forward to having you onboard.