16 Sep

These 18 Clothing Brands Actually Pay Their Workers A Living Wage

Living wages are a crucial part of a more ethical and sustainable fashion system for all, and while some brands may make vague claims about paying the “legal minimum wage”, others are committed to certified living wages that ensure workers can lead a decent life.

Living wages v minimum wages

Fashion supply chains are murky, and despite our best intentions as conscious consumers, it can be tricky to track whether brands are ticking all the right boxes behind the scenes and ensure we’re making purchases that match our morals.

One crucial topic finally starting to garner the attention it deserves on the world stage is living wages, making headlines in 2022 with the Good Clothes, Fair Pay campaign in Europe. A living wage can be defined as the bare minimum monetary compensation required for workers and their families to have a decent life. Not to be mistaken for minimum wages, which simply refer to the lowest legal amount employers are allowed to pay employees in any given area. Minimum wages often don’t meet workers’ basic needs, and not all countries have a lower minimum wage limit.

A living wage can be defined as the bare minimum monetary compensation required for workers and their families to have a decent life.

Workers in all industries deserve to be paid enough to ensure they and their loved ones can live a life of safety, health, and dignity. Fashion, in particular, is notorious for unfair wages, problematic “piece rate” payments, and even forced and child labour. While there is no globally agreed-upon definition of a living wage, organisations like The Asia Floor Wage Alliance and the Global Living Wage Coalition are two widely accepted methodologies used to calculate minimum living wages.

The reality is, there’s no evidence that the vast majority of major brands pay living wages. We dug into the rich data here at Good On You, fashion’s most rigorous and comprehensive ratings system. What we found is alarming but not all that surprising: there’s no evidence to be found about living wages for a whopping 86% of large brands. That means 86% of the world’s most profitable fashion brands either don’t disclose anything about living wages or are confirmed to not pay living wages at any stage of the supply chain.

86% of the world’s most profitable fashion brands either don’t disclose anything about living wages or are confirmed to not pay living wages at any stage of the supply chain.

The following brands have been rated by our world-leading methodology, which considers 500-plus data points across more than 100 key issues, indicators, and standards systems to award final scores, including the “People” score that pays close attention to progress towards and implementation of true living wages. Let’s meet the brands doing better for workers by paying a living wage in some, most, or all of their supply chains.

18 brands paying their workers fair wages

Birdsong

Rated: Good

Birdsong is a boutique label producing gorgeous womenswear. Its clothes are handmade in London by knitters and seamstresses earning above the London living wage. The business is built on a philosophy of fairness and authenticity, promising customers “no sweatshop, no photoshop”. Birdsong's products are inclusively sized from 2XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Shop Birdsong.

Shop Birdsong @ SlowCo.

Monsoon Blooms

Rated: Great
man wearing yellow monsoon blooms t-shirt

Following the wisdom of Ayurveda, Monsoon Blooms creates Fairtrade International-certified organic cotton underwear and basics, naturally dyed with plants. It does not use any animal products and makes its product by hand to reduce its climate impact. It ensures payment of a living wage in most of its supply chain. Find sizes S-L.

See the rating.

Shop Monsoon Booms.

Thunderpants USA and NZ

Rated: Great

Both Thunderpants USA and NZ ensure payment of a living wage throughout their supply chain.

Thunderpants USA is a manufacturer of quirky, organic cotton underpants for the whole family.

See the rating.

Shop Thunderpants USA @ Made Trade.

Shop Thunderpants USA.

Thunderpants is a New Zealand brand that makes clothing for the whole family, designed to fit and built to last.

See the rating.

Shop Thunderpants NZ.

Bhumi

Rated: Great
A woman in a yoga pose wears a dark grey tank.

Australian brand Bhumi makes 100% Fairtrade, organic, and vegan basics and bedding. The brand believes in sustainable luxury, paving the way for a new era in the textile industry by choosing fairtrade organic fabrics for all of its products. It ensures payment of a living wage throughout its supply chain. Find the clothes in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Bhumi.

Miakoda

Rated: Great
two women wearing Miakoda sustainable yoga clothes

If you’re all about that organic plant-based lifestyle, then you’ll most certainly vibe with Miakoda and its organic, ultra-cosy active and loungewear. Supportive of different shapes and sizes from XS-4XL, its pieces include stripped-back colours and designs that are all about comfort. Everything is manufactured in an ethical factory in NYC, and all packing materials are eco-friendly. It ensures payment of a living wage in most of its supply chain.

See the rating.

Shop Miakoda.

Shop Miakoda @ Wearwell.

No Nasties

Rated: Great

Another leader when it comes to ethical fashion, No Nasties makes simple and stylish clothing from Fairtrade organic cotton in India where it is actively working to grow the ethical consumer market. It ensures payment of a living wage in all of its supply chain. Find styles in sizes 2XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Shop No Nasties.

Shop No Nasties @ Made Trade.

CARPASUS

Rated: Great

CARPASUS is a Swiss menswear brand that makes fine shirts, ties, socks, and pocket squares. CARPASUS uses GOTS certified cotton and manufactures locally to reduce its carbon footprint. It also traces its supply chain and ensures workers are paid a living wage. Find most products in EU sizes 36-46.

See the rating.

Shop CARPASUS.

Kuyichi

Rated: Great
woman wearing navy kuyichi shirt

Established in 2001, Kuyichi is the first organic denim brand. With top-scoring labour and environmental ratings, the brand designs ethical and durable, yet trendy and modern pieces that never go out of style. It ensures payment of a living wage in most of its supply chain and has a project to further improve wages. Sizes XS-L are available.

See the rating.

Shop Kuyichi.

Shop Kuyichi @ Staiy.

Dedicated

Rated: Great

If you love a great graphic print, Swedish label Dedicated has you covered. Dedicated is an ethical streetwear brand for men, women, and children. All cotton used in its pieces are 100% organic and most are Fairtrade-certified, which means that you don’t have to sacrifice your ethics to dress in style. It ensures payment of a living wage in most of its supply chain. Find the clothes in XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Dedicated.

Shop Dedicated @ Earthkind.

The Classic T-Shirt Company

Rated: Great

The Classic T-Shirt Company is a US brand that creates premium tees and ethical t-shirts with luxury and integrity. All of its products are GOTS certified organic cotton, and it does not use any animal products. It ensures payment of a living wage across its supply chain. The Classic T-Shirt Company’s range is available in US sizes XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Shop The Classic T-Shirt Company.

Noctu

Rated: Great
A woman in a black nightdress

Noctu is a UK-based brand that creates beautiful and comfortable nightwear and loungewear. Minimalist styles made from luxuriously soft organic cotton, where simplicity and function meet comfort. It ensures payment of a living wage throughout its supply chain. Shop sizes S-L.

See the rating.

Shop Noctu.

Sorella Organics

Rated: Great

Sorella’s certified organic sleepwear range includes tops, pants, wraps, nighties, as well as maternity wear. The label’s founder Anna McGregor has a background in international human rights work. This is obvious with her use of Fairtrade certified cotton, and it ensures strict social standards are met in production and trading. Best of all, purchasing the clothing won’t make you cry over your bank balance.  It ensures payment of a living wage in most of its supply chain. Find the range in sizes S-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Sorella Organics.

People Tree

Rated: Great

Offers

Someone wearing a red organic shirt by People Tree.

People Tree EU – Organic Clothing

Celebrate Organic September with People Tree. Choose toxin-free clothing than protects biodiversity, saves water, and is safe for farmers and workers. 15% off organic clothing with code ORGANIC. (Available in Europe only) (Ends: 28 SEP)

Checkout code: ORGANIC
Shop now

Sustainable fashion pioneer and leader People Tree is a seriously ethical brand and one of our favourites. The brand uses eco-friendly materials and addresses labour risks by adopting the Fairtrade International – Small Producers Organisations Code of Conduct. It ensures payment of a living wage in most of its supply chain. Find most products in UK sizes 6-18.

See the rating.

Shop People Tree UK.

Shop People Tree EU.

Shop People Tree @ Wearwell.

Known Supply

Rated: Good
woman wearing clothes and accessories by know supply

Know Supply is a US-based, B-Corp Certified sustainable fashion brand that is humanising the apparel industry by celebrating the people who make our clothing and the people who wear it. It ensures payment of a living wage in most of its supply chain including all of the final stage of production. Find most items in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop Known Supply.

Shop Known Supply @ Wearwell.

Armedangels

Rated: Great

Affordable, ethical, and on-trend. Germany’s Armedangels gets a top score overall from us. The brand covers all the basics for women, men, and kids. Armedangels’ quality and long-lasting pieces are made from eco-friendly and certified materials, like Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified cotton. The brand also adopted the Fair Wear Foundation Code of Conduct to protect its workers abroad. It ensures payment of a living wage in some of its supply chain. Its products are available in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Armedangels.

Shop Armedangels @ Earthkind.

Shop Armedangels @ Veneka.

Yes Friends

Rated: Great

Yes Friends is a UK-based fashion brand that creates sustainable, ethical, and affordable clothing for everyone. Yes Friends’ first product, classic cut t-shirts, cost less than £4 to make and the brand only charges £7.99. Using large scale production and direct to consumer margins means Yes Friends can charge you an affordable price for its sustainable and ethical clothing. It ensures payment of a living wage in most of its supply chain. Find the range inclusively sized in 2XS-4XL.

See the rating.

Shop Yes Friends.

Infantium Victoria

Rated: Great
young POC girl wearing preloved green velvet dress by ethical vegan brand Infantium Victoria

Infantium Victoria offers beautiful vegan luxury for all ages. This German brand scores highly across the board. Its products are certified by Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), and it sells previously owned products to minimise textile waste. It ensures payment of a living wage in most of its supply chain.

See the rating.

Shop Infantium Victoria.

Shop Infantium Victoria @ LVR Sustainable.

Editor's note

Feature image via Unsplash. All other images via brands mentioned. Good On You publishes the world’s most comprehensive ratings of fashion brands’ impact on people, the planet, and animals. Use our directory to search thousands of rated brands. We may earn a commission on sales with top-rated partners made using our offer codes or affiliate links.

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