Together on living wages: Launch of the Living Wage Lab
With the launch of the Living Wage Lab, the Partnership Initiative Living Wages entered a new phase. The aim of the Living Wage Lab is to support PST members in developing and implementing individual living wage strategies and to develop scalable solutions together with their suppliers.
The Living Wage Lab is attended by 17 partnership members, including representatives of companies and trade unions, civil society and the Federal Government. On the one hand, they want to share experiences of what they have already done to increase wages and what they are planning to do in the future. On the other hand, they want to learn from each other how to implement pilot projects to increase wages with suppliers and how to improve transparency and their purchasing practices in the company. In the first phase of the Partnership Initiative on Living Wages the focus was on improving purchasing practices as well as on training and capacity building for suppliers on the subject of Open Costing.
Virtual launch event
Around 25 BI representatives took part in the virtual kick-off event of the Living Wage Lab on 14 September 2021. Kristin Apffelstaedt from the Partnership Secretariat (BS) gave an overview of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and the agreements it contains. The Thrive Collaborative, a consulting organization with human rights expertise and sector-specific practical experience along the textile supply chain, presented a "Roadmap to Living Wages", with the help of which companies can implement living wages step by step.
On the basis of case studies, two companies provided insights into the practical implementation. The Swiss company Coop described its path and challenges towards living wages. Coop also addressed the issue of transparency and described how it involved various departments in the company and exchanged ideas with its suppliers. Subsequently, the Dutch jeans label Kings Of Indigo shared its learning experiences with the other Alliance members. For example, Kings of Indigo brought other brands that are manufactured by the same producer on board in order to be able to achieve more together. The case studies showed that both companies strive for transparency and protection of increased labor costs through an open cost calculation with the suppliers.
Useful information and links
Starting points for promoting living wages can be found in the Partnership Guidelines (DE and EN)