Our joint investigation with Public Eye and the “Colletcif Ethique sur l’Etiquette” into the conditions in which one of the iconic hoodies sold by the Zara brand reveals the backdrop of this leader of the “Fast Fashion” which presents itself as a transparent company that attaches a great importance to the people who produce its clothes.

Given that Zara does not publish any data on supplier wages or the purchase prices it pays, we produced our own detailed calculation of the breakdown of the price of the hoody “RESPECT” which was sold in its stores during the summer 2019.

According to our calculations, Inditex makes 4.20 euros per hoody, which is more than twice as much as all the people involved its production earn (2.08 euros) – from the cotton fields in India, to the spinning mill in Kayseri in central Turkey, to the factories in Izmir.

The field research conducted by our partner Public Eye highlighted the pressure that Inditex exerts on its suppliers to drive down prices: the factory tasked with producing the 20,000 hoodies was only paid nine Turkish lira per item (1.53 euros) and the firm that printed the slogan on the hoody was paid only 9 cents per print. To make ends meet, factory owners are forced to pay their staff less than they should, or to make them work more.

According to our information, workers would earn 2,000-2,500 Turkish lira per month (310-390 euros), namely a third of what the Clean Clothes Campaign estimates would be needed for a living wage (6,130 lira).

There is an alternative to paying meagre wages: only 3.62 euros more per article would need to go to the workers to guarantee a living wage for all the people involved in production. Even if it took on its profits to cover this amount, Inditex would still be making profits on every sweatshirt sold – even more than all its subcontractors in the chain…

Based on these results, our partners – Public Eye, the Collective Ethique sur l’Etiquette and Schone Kleren Campaign – started a campaign to challenge Inditex, which made a record net profit of EUR 3.44 billion in 2018, and engage the company to change its practices and concretely implement a living wage for all those working in its supply chains.

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