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Clean Clothes Campaign Calls for Living Wage for Garment Workers, Urges Consumers to Return Clothes to Seller

Consumers are quick to return defective clothes to stores and request a refund or exchange. Now, the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) is urging them to symbolically send back garments due to their “living wage defect” by signing an online petition.

CCC, an umbrella group for trade unions and advocacy groups, recently launched a website to raise awareness about the “manufacturing defects” of clothes made by garment workers struggling to make ends meet on salaries that are a fraction of a living wage.

“If our clothes had 80 percent or 70 percent missing, we would send them back,” Mirjam van Heugten, Clean Clothes coordinator, said in a statement. “With the current low national minimum wages, workers are stuck in a life of poverty, without a way to offer their children a better future.”

Since 2013, more than 110,000 European citizens have signed the petition, which will be handed to brands and political representatives at the Living Wage Forum, set to take place Oct. 12-14 in Brussels.

“Brands have talked about a living wage for years, but we have not seen improvements for workers,” van Heugten said, adding, “We want to remind the brands that they are responsible for the implementation of a living wage for garment workers in their whole supply chain.”