A fair wage is a living wage.
A living wage is one which is sufficient to provide a safe place to live, healthy food, clothing and footwear, healthcare such as dental and physiotherapy (sewing causes numerous repetitive stress injuries), the occasional vacation, the cost of raising a child, and the ability to save for retirement (sewers do not get pensions). I would say the minimum hourly rate required to afford the most basic version of a truly "living" lifestyle in Ontario in 2023 is ~$33/hour.
Worldwide, the ever-growing surfeit of cheap "fast" clothing has created a distorted sense of the value of apparel in most consumers' minds. Back in 2013 when Rana Plaza collapsed, killing 1134 garment workers, I thought that might be a turning point and more people would realize that garment workers are not disposable and their labour has value, but sadly things are worse than ever.
Every person in every country (in every industry!) deserves to earn a living wage.
I am self-employed (the HCC is a sole proprietorship) so I decide how much I get paid: HCC apparel is priced to pay me about $55K/year once I attain my sales goals.
I will make less than I did as a freelance patternmaker for other brands, but I enjoy more job satisfaction. My goal is to make a living and keep my pricing as affordable as possible, while staying true to my personal and brand values: telling the WHOLE truth and sourcing as ethically as I am able.
Whereas I'm not getting rich any time soon, this is enough to live on with a little to lay by, with careful management. Being self-employed is a bit trickier than a regular "job" because there are no paid holidays or sick days, but the pay-off comes in flexibility of working hours and job satisfaction.
Obviously I will not make anywhere close to $50K in my first few years of business! I am very fortunate to have a husband who is willing take this risk with me, in the hope that you will place your first HCC order and discover how good it feels to wear clothes made with love and great attention to detail because the person who made them is earning a living wage (and loves her work).
None of this happens without your support, so thank you for buying HCC!!!