Lidl accused of paying low wages to garment workers
The true cost of cheap jeans
The Guardian has accused Lidl of paying just 23p per hour to workers making its cheap jeans.
Lidl is currently marketing a pair of jeans at £5.99. That is more than £3 cheaper than Primark and £12 less than Tesco sells its cheapest denims for.
The label on the new line revealed that Bangladesh was the source of the jeans.
The article goes on to say how this cheap price is achieved.
Some cost savings come form the parred down design (e.g. no zip, no pockets and no unnecessary stitching) and also taking advantage of bulk ordering.
However its labour costs must also remain low to achieve this impossibly low price.
The Guardian says:
"This is not magic. It is not Harry Potter making these jeans, it is a young woman in a factory in Bangladesh and one of the main reasons they are so cheap is that workers like her are paid as little as 2p for every pair they make."
The paper adds that:
"Most of the workers in Bangladeshi garment factories are women and most are paid at the minimum legal wage of 5,300 takas a month (about £48). That is 23p an hour on an eight-hour, six-day, week. It is a fifth of the £230 a month estimated by the Asia Floor Wage Alliance to be the minimum required for a living wage back in 2013."
The article concludes:
"It’s not magic. It’s just exploitation."
In Ethical Consumer's rating system Lidl scores a worst ranking for all of it's policies including supply chain management and cotton sourcing.
Lidl are included in our guide to supermarkets.
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