Saturday 28 November 2020

Poor wages, polluting practices mean your jeans are too cheap

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The true price of a pair of jeans should be €33 higher than current price shop owners pay, to make sure workers get proper incomes and to protect the environment, according to a new report by the Impact Institute for ABN Amro.

The €33 ‘true price gap’ reflects the difference in the price that a shop pays for a pair of jeans and what it really costs to make them. The ‘real cost’ includes items such as the environmental impact and proper wages and secondary working conditions.

‘Jeans are the symbol of individual expression and freedom, but a lot goes wrong in the production chain,’ the bank said. In total, the jeans market generated retail sales of €42bn in 2017.

The researchers followed the complete chain, from the cotton fields and denim production plants in India to the manufacturing centres in Bangladesh and shipment on to Europe.

In particular, cheap labour, and forced child labour, enable companies to keep wage costs down in the cotton fields, the researchers say. Denim production also requires a lot of water, and is highly polluting.

If these hidden costs were all made clear, consumers could make a better informed choice about the jeans they buy, said ABN Amro retail sector spokesman Henk Hofstede.

The report also includes a number of recommendations to improve conditions in the jeans sector.

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl

The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.

DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.