In episode 143, Kestrel welcomes Barrett Ward, the founder + CEO of ABLE, to the show. A lifestyle brand, ABLE is focused on ending generational poverty through providing economic opportunity for women.“We also know that when a woman is empowered and given a job - this is a statistic, it’s a fact - that a woman has a far more significant impact in her community than does a man. If you want to have a serious impact on poverty in the world, the fashion world is an extraordinary place to start.” -Barrett Ward, Founder of ABLE
In the introduction of this episode, Kestrel shares a bit of context as to what constitutes a living wage, according to The Clean Clothes Campaign.
A living wage is a human right. And as The Clean Clothes Campaign outlines, a living wage should be earned in a standard working week (no more than 48 hours) and allow a garment worker to be able to buy food for themself and their family, pay the rent, pay for healthcare, clothing, transportation and education and have a small amount of savings for when something unexpected happens.
Throughout this chat, Barrett shares more on his #PublishYourWages campaign, and how he believes exposing these numbers is the key to bringing higher accountability and to ensure workers are actually paid living wages.
Barrett also shares how ABLE plans to have nutritional-like labels on all of their garments within the next year, showcasing their lowest wages. For Barrett, the “lowest wages” is really significant, so shoppers can truly understand what they are supporting through their purchases.
The below thoughts, ideas + organizations were brought up in this chat:
Less than 2% of women in the global garment supply chain are actually being paid a living wage, highlighted in Fast Company article
Amazon’s minimum wage issues in their fulfillment centers; an example Barrett brings up reminding us of the power consumers really have to influence change
A hero of Barrett’s: Simone Cipriani, the Head of the Ethical Fashion Initiative of the International Trade Centre (ITC)'; Simone oversees the promotion of trade and incubation of creative micro-enterprises within marginalized communities in Africa and Haiti
ABLE’s #PublishYourWages campaign