Having a job is better than having no job at all! Research has shown that the expansion of the garment industry has helped reduce poverty in many poor countries. It’s certainly not an ideal situation, but to boycott clothes made in these countries could potentially hurt the garment workers even more.
From our perspective, these workers are paid almost nothing. After all, the minimum wage for textile workers in Bangladesh—one of the world’s major garment exporters—is about $68 a month. Yet it’s important for us to remember that we live in one of the most prosperous countries in the world, and that wages here are much higher than in Bangladesh. So while $68 may seem like very little to us, it is much-needed for millions of Bangladeshi workers. A company like H&M is providing these workers with higher wages than they would make otherwise; in return, the company lowers its production costs.