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Informal Economy & WIEGO
Occupational Group(s): Garment Workers

Global Trade: Garment Workers

WIEGO seeks to promote a better understanding of how the working poor, especially women, in the informal economy are inserted into the global economy, and with what consequences; and to identify strategies to promote fair trade for informal producers who want to export their goods and ethical trade for informal wage workers or homeworkers who work in global value chains. Our activities to meet these goals include research studies and seminars; case study documentation of good practice; policy dialogues on key issues; as well as collaboration with the fair and ethical trade movements.

Case Studies: Garment Workers Around the Globe

The garment industry employs millions of women workers across the world. Conditions are fiercely competitive, with rapid changes in fashion dictating a severe form of just-in-time production. The consequences of this are well known – low wages, long hours of overtime and an increase in the numbers of industrial outworkers, most of whom are women. The ending of the Multi-Fibre Agreement in January 2005 has introduced further volatility to a complex and rapidly changing industry.

Voluntary Codes of Conduct

How Voluntary Codes of Conduct can Improve the Situation of Informal Workers

The Example of New Look, an Ethical Trading Initiative Member Company, Working with Factories to Improve Job Quality for Workers1