There is a vast mismatch between the earnings in the garment industry and the wages paid out to the workers who produce the garments. It's estimated that the average percentage of the final retail cost of a garment made in the developing world, which goes to the garment worker, ranges from 0.5- 4%.

A living wage, means that the wage a worker earns in a standard working week (never exceeding 48 hours) is enough to provide for them and their family’s basic needs – including housing, education and healthcare as well as some discretionary income for when the unexpected happens.

A living wage for any worker should be enough to cover her or his basic needs, and the needs of her family. In the global garment industry approximately 80% of garment workers are women, aged 18-35. Many have children and families to provide for and are the main income earner. With escalating living costs in housing, food, clothing, education, transport and healthcare, the minimum wage which workers earn simply isn’t enough.

The Asia Floor Wage has calculated what a living wage should be for workers across the region. These calculations show the difference between the minimum wage in many countries and a living wage.

Minimum wage vs Living wage in Sri Lanka:
Minimum wage is 50.31 €
Living wage is 259.46 €

Minimum wage vs Living wage in Bangladesh:
Minimum wage is 49.56 €
Living wage is 259.80 €


Sri Lanka