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Fair Wage in the Fashion Industry: A stakeholder perspective
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This paper explores the socio-economic phenomenon surrounding social sustainability in the fashion industry with a focus on the remuneration of garment production workers of the global fashion value chain. The aim of this study is to explain the interaction between different stakeholders of the global fashion value chain in their perspectives in driving social sustainability, including the implementation of fair wage and to propose a suitable way to achieve economic and social sustainability within the three pillars of Triple Bottom Line. Research questions in focus to suit the purpose of this study are: Through a review of perspectives of key actors of a typical global fashion value chain; what are the business drivers of the stakeholders in implementing social sustainability initiatives?; how can stakeholder pressure facilitate the increase in remuneration level of garment production workers in the fashion industry? Through an analysis of peer-reviewed articles and a review of empirical reports along with qualitative analysis on primary interview data the following conclusions can be made: Although the perspectives on what a decent level of wage is was different, all of the stakeholders of the global value chain either vaguely or explicitly, expressed a need for increase in the remuneration level of garment production workers in a societal perspective. However, it was observed that all the stakeholders had different business drivers that were situated in a different transitional period in drivers of the Triple Bottom Line. Another analysis made was that global fashion value chain being rather linearly connected, the pressure that the higher end actors perceive from their stakeholders were not delivered all the way to the lower end actors. There are many practical implications to this study. Many fashion brands are using social sustainability standards as a way of managing the integration of social initiatives within their global value chain, including the implementation of a living wage. However, it was difficult to make a clear conclusion on the effectiveness of the social sustainability standards on driving positive change in the remuneration level of the garment production workers. Moreover, although the consumers are willing to pay a higher price for an ethical product and there have been attempts from fashion brand level to increase the level of remuneration of garment production workers through their own expense, it was observed through a review of the perspectives of stakeholders that it can be difficult to facilitate due to complexity in purchasing practices and wage formation is the result of market-driven processes with various degrees of market imperfections and government intervention. Therefore, a recommendation to the practitioners of the global fashion value chain can be engendering strategic partnership for social dialogue.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 54
Series
Examensarbete vid Institutionen för geovetenskaper, ISSN 1650-6553 ; 2019/17
Keywords [en]
Corporate social responsibility, Fashion industry, Living wage, Stakeholder perspective, Sustainable development
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-387664OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-387664DiVA, id: diva2:1330131
Educational program
Master Programme in Sustainable Development
Presentation
2019-05-21, Hamberg, Geocentrum, Villavägen 16, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-06-25 Created: 2019-06-25 Last updated: 2019-08-12Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
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More styles
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