Five factory workers wearing blue shirts cutting material on cutting table

The Living Wage

Macpac’s Living Wage Journey

Over the years, we’ve worked hard to find manufacturing partners of the highest standard, who are aligned to our values and can provide the quality that Macpac is known for. Although our international network of manufacturing partners has increased, we’ve never lost sight of the fact that there are people making our product, and that we have a responsibility towards them. These workers form a part of our extended team.

Our partners agree to comply with the requirements of our Responsible Sourcing Code and we continue to verify that commitment with third party audits. The Code sets out our expectations for what we regard as essential practices of social welfare in manufacturing facilities and covers topics including forced labour and child labour, workplace health and safety, and worker rights.

Our Code also states that workers in our supply chain should always earn enough to meet their basic needs and to provide some discretionary income for them and their families.

However, as our better business journey evolves, we see the need to move beyond these foundational requirements. We know that wages in the garment industry are notoriously low. More and more, workers struggle to make ends meet and this is particularly true in the current climate, where the divide between high and low incomes have become more pronounced.

We recognise that there is a growing gap between what a basic income can afford, and what a living wage can provide. We believe that all workers should be able to afford a decent standard of living from a standard work week, i.e. a living wage.

This means that a standard work week (with a maximum of 48 hours) should be sufficient to provide adequate nutritious food, housing, healthcare, clothing, transportation, energy, water, childcare, education, and other essential needs for a worker and his or her family, including some discretionary money and provision for unexpected events.

With this in mind, we are committed to work towards a living wage for workers in our supply chain. Achieving a living wage is challenging and will take time. As we embark on this journey, we have three immediate priorities:

For our top five tier 1 manufacturing partners (by product value):
1. We aim to understand the gap between current wage and living wage, by April 2024.
2. We aim to separate labour cost in price negotiations, by April 2024.

For our tier 1 manufacturing partners:
3. We will engage our partners to rate our responsible purchasing practices using the Better Buying Institute’s purchasing surveys

Our better business journey is ongoing, and we’ll keep you updated on our progress.

May 2024 Update:
We want to provide an update regarding our commitment to advancing responsible purchasing practices and ensuring fair wages for workers in our supply chain. While our original timeline aimed to achieve certain milestones by April 2024, we've encountered complexities that necessitate additional time to fulfill our objectives effectively.

We have engaged our partners to anonymously rate our responsible buying behaviour using the Better Buying Institute’s purchasing survey . The April 2024 survey will be our third participation in the annual survey, and we look forward to receiving new insights as we aim to build sustainable partnerships.

Our dedication to understanding the gap between current wages and living wages remains unchanged. After a long search to find a partner with the requisite technical expertise, we are pleased to report that we have engaged LRQA to work with five key apparel manufacturing partners. They will collect the detailed information required to fully understand current wages and the living wage gap in these factories. We believe it is important to provide our manufacturing partners with the support required to understand not only the intent of this project, but also the details required to make a fair assessment. Our work to separate labour cost in price negotiation follows on from this research.

Although progress may take longer than initially anticipated, please rest assured that our commitment to this vital aspect of our better business journey is steadfast.

We will keep you informed of our progress every step of the way.

Man wearing facemask inspecting a yellow macpac pac at a factory.