The minimum wage is not the same as the living wage. A living wage is an estimated wage that should cover all of an employee’s basic needs, such as food, housing, clothing, health care, and education, and allow for a portion of the wage to be saved. In many countries, the national minimum wage is a wage set by the government that does not necessarily cover all of this. For this reason, Mini Rodini implements the Living Wage program, which aims to create viable wage levels for the factories where their clothing and products are manufactured.
The program surveys the initial situation of the factory's wage level and finances a system for the factories involved in the program that fills the gaps in wage payments. Mini Rodini funds the program themselves. They feel that it is a so-called surcharge that they absolutely want to pay to ensure that the people who make their products get a fair wage for their work.
Mini Rodini participated in the program for the first time in India in 2014 at the initiative of another Fair Wear Foundation member brand. Mini Rodini no longer works with that plant, but the project spawned its own Living Wage program at another Indian plant in 2016. This is a plant with which they have a long-term relationship and which employs about 1,000 people. Although Mini Rodin’s products take up only 4% of the plant’s production capacity, they still pay an additional premium to all workers during the production of their products to ensure that the wage is adequate for living.
In 2017, Mini Rodini expanded its Living Wage program to three different factories in Turkey. This was the first time in Turkey that a foreign brand created a budget for a comprehensive bonus system of its own profits to get workers a living wage.
By fall 2017, as many as 18% of Mini Rodin’s products were produced by employees who received the payroll bonus from The Living Wage. By 2021, Mini Rodin aims to implement a system whereby they pay all employees in the brand’s sewing units according to The Living Wage program.
Mini Rodini is also an active member of the Fair Wear Foundation’s Living Wages Incubator forum. The members of this forum are European companies committed to advancing, sharing information and finding ways to overcome these pay challenges in order to further improve working conditions and the living conditions of workers.