Fly Soul Shoes believe at our core in building a company that believe in change and the necessary steps to make that change real and effective for all our staff, partners, designers, cobblers, etc.
We want to highlight some of the major problems with wages in the fashion industry. It’s estimated that less than 2% of the 75 million people working to make the clothes and shoes we put on our bodies every day earn a living wage that covers their most basic needs.
The truth is this is a complex problem, but we want to share how FSS plans on making a difference with our extended family and brand. The journey will take time, but with your support it will help expedite the solution to give a living wage to our entire supply chain.
We believe there are clear, critical next steps brands and consumers can take to begin to transform the industry at an unprecedented rate. To summarize what you’ll read below, brands should publish and 3rd party verify their lowest wages, and consumers should begin demanding that brands share their lowest wages.
Each philanthropic partner has been carefully selected with the hearts and minds of people less fortunate and the planet earth. As we manufacture hemp based fashion we feel compelled to provide our customers with philanthropic options to choose from. As a company, we are donating a percentage of our net income to the cause selected.
We have strived to pay a living wage to those working in our supply chain since inception. This was a huge part of why we started Fly Soul Shoes in the first place. In our factory in Mexico where approximately 70% of our products are manufactured, we’ve measured our producers’ expenses (by way of internal impact assessments) to ensure we provide a living wage that meets the actual needs of our shoemakers and their children since 2019. We do this by asking our shoemakers themselves how much they pay for housing, food, education, healthcare, utilities, transportation, clothing, and other essential needs (for them as individuals and for their children). This is one way we calculate a raw, living wage calculation. We also rely on 3rd party research from WageIndicator, a well-respected organization that collects wage data from around the world to evaluate the cost of a decent standard of living in our producers’ community. Based on our primary and secondary research calculations, we determined the latest living wage to be $350 a month. And, we set our lowest wage at $276 a month to ensure our producers could afford to meet their needs.
For local context, apart from providing a consistent, stable job, this $276 goes a long way for the vast majority of our shoemakers. On average, $300 per month has meant a 40% increase in the earnings of team members working at the FSS factory vs. their earnings prior to joining our team. And, as a reminder, this is the lowest wage in the factory and is for entry-level positions. For those who have worked with our team to strengthen their skill sets and have been at the factory for 3+ years, the average income increase is 152% higher than what they were previously earning outside of the FSS factory. For global context, $300 per month is significantly higher than the wages of the vast majority of factory workers in the footwear industry worldwide and 51% higher than the minimum wage in China, where most footwear manufacturing occurs (Source: The Circle. The Fundamental Right to a Living Wage, 2017).
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