Sammy J says: Dear Kmart, Increase What She Makes

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Together, let's urge Kmart to publish a time frame for their actions towards achieving living wages for the women who make our clothes. Send an email today!

Comedian Sammy J speaks for a lot of us – we shop at Kmart because we love a bargain. But the bargain shouldn’t be what she makes.

The women who make our clothes do not make enough to live on – keeping them in poverty. Despite long hours away from their families, working full time plus hours of overtime, big brands do not pay enough to cover the basics of life – food and shelter.

Big brands like Kmart are part of a system that pays poverty wages, so the women who make our clothes don’t make enough money to live on.

As Sammy J recounts in his What She Makes song, research shows that just 40 cents of the price of a $10 t-shirt goes towards the wages of the women who made the t-shirt. And, it would cost less than 1% of the retail price – that’s less than 10 cents for a $10 t-shirt – for big brands do the right thing and a pay living wage to the women who make our clothes.

It’s time for companies like Kmart to release a timeline of the actions they will take to achieve living wages for the women who make their clothes.

Together, we are asking Kmart to develop credible, transparent, time-bound plans to map out how they will achieve this goal.

A living wage is not a luxury or a privilege; it is a universal human right — for every working person around the world, including the women who make our clothes. The minimum wage is not enough to live on. In Bangladesh, the minimum wage will increase in December 2018 – but only to $0.62 per hour for the lowest paid garment workers. It’s still nowhere near a living wage.

What has Kmart committed to so far?

Kmart has taken some great steps in the right direction, leading the way on factory safety by signing the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Accord. Kmart has taken their factory lists out of hiding, revealing exactly where their clothes are made.

Kmart has also joined ACT (Action, Collaboration, Transformation), a joint IndustriALL and fashion industry initiative that aims to lift wages and achieve living wages for workers through collective bargaining. Now, we just need a public time frame on living wages to help ensure action.

We know Kmart can be a leader and take the next step.

(The women is this video have taken a big risk by speaking to Oxfam. Some have chosen to cover their face with a scarf to protect their identity, which is not common among garment workers in Bangladesh.)