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A living wage in Australia's clothing supply chain

Estimating factory wages as a share of Australia’s retail price

Deloitte Access Economics was engaged by Oxfam to analyse Australia’s garment supply chain and estimate the impact of moving towards paying a “living wage” to factory workers within the supply chain.

Deloitte Access Economics has been engaged by Oxfam Australia to provide analysis of Australia’s garment industry. Specifically, Oxfam has requested Deloitte Access Economics answer two specific questions:

  • Current factory wages: What is the typical share of the overall price to Australian consumers of garments produced in global supply chains which is spent on factory worker wages?
  • Living wages: How much would the overall cost of bringing a garment to Australian consumers increase if a living wage were instead paid to factory workers?

Using previous research, publicly available data, and data from a number of Australian businesses, Deloitte Access Economics has put together a cost structure framework of Australia’s garment supply industry. This framework represents the whole industry as an average and is not representative of a specific business or garment.

Deloitte Access Economics has also estimated the impact on retail prices of moving towards a living wage. This analysis assumes that all players within the supply chain pass on the full cost of the wage increase. This does not answer how businesses could adjust their operations or how a living wage could practically be implemented.

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