Wages: Meeting Employee Basic Needs and More


  • HanesBrands is committed to seeing an end to unethical sourcing practices and the exploitation of workers in the apparel industry
  • We own the majority of our supply chain and we invest in our employees and their communities
  • We do not own facilities in Bangladesh, and none of our Hanes Australasia, or Bonds apparel is manufactured in Bangladesh
  • We live by our Global Standards for Suppliers and we stop doing business with those companies who consistently fail to meet our standards
  • Our plan is not a commitment to start doing something, we are already a recognized workplace practices leader and will continue to dedicate ourselves to lead by example
  • Independent academic research at our company-owned facilities shows that families with at least one HanesBrands employee have the ability to meet both their current and future needs, as well as the resources to spend on discretionary items
  • We are committed to conducting additional compensation and household basic need research of both supplier and company-owned facilities in Asia and the Americas in 2019.  

Find out what our employees have to say about working for HanesBrands:


Wages: Meeting Employee Basic Needs and More

Our commitment is to see an end to unethical sourcing practices and the exploitation of workers in the apparel industry.

HanesBrands is unique in the industry because it primarily manufactures the apparel it sells under socially responsible brands in company-owned or controlled production facilities that offer compelling jobs that meet employee basic needs and more. Directly owning facilities allows us to invest in our employees and their communities as well as understand our employees’ living situation and what it takes for their households to meet basic needs and more.

We hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards, and expect no less from our partners. Our industry leading programme includes a Global Code of Conduct, Global Standards for Suppliers, Human Rights Policy and the Fair Labour Association Code of Conduct, these combined drive the commitment and expectations that are set for all our suppliers both owned and contracted.

We cherish our achievements and are committed to maintaining our strong reputation for corporate citizenship and social responsibility. We have been recognized as a leading performer on studying wage issues among the larger fashion retailers.

At Hanesbrands, we are committed to the requirements of our Global Standards for Suppliers, which require that:

  • Everyone who works has the right to fair compensation
  • Total compensation (wages, plus bonuses and in-kind benefits, excluding overtime) should enable workers to meet basic needs and have some discretionary income. This is often referred to as a “living wage”
  • We encourage suppliers to provide such level of fair compensation. Where this goal is not met, suppliers shall work with us to take appropriate actions that seek to progressively realize a level of compensation that does
  • Suppliers recognize and respect the right of employees to exercise their right to freedom of association and collective bargaining

At Hanesbrands, we have commissioned independent research studies on wage levels. This research strongly indicates that families with at least one Hanesbrands employee are meeting their basic needs and more. The company has also committed to conducting additional compensation and household basic need research of both supplier and internal facilities in Asia and the Americas in 2019.  

Further details on Hanesbrands’ supply chain and related independent research studies can be found below.

Hanesbrands’ supply chain and in-depth academic research studies on wage levels

HanesBrands owns the majority of its supply chain apparel production, unlike most of the world’s apparel industry. This business model thrives on the scale, stability and longevity of its operations, requiring a strong relationship between the company’s competitiveness and its employees’ economic interests. For example, HanesBrands has operated company-owned supply chain manufacturing in the Dominican Republic for more than 45 years, in El Salvador and Honduras for more than 25 years, in Vietnam for more than 10 years, and in Indonesia for more than 20 years. In addition, the company continues to manufacture in the United States and Europe.

Our employees enjoy jobs that play a central role in more than meeting the basic needs of their households, as well as the opportunity for upward economic mobility. We pride ourselves on being an innovative workplace leader across the globe that provides safe and rewarding jobs; competitive wages and benefits; ethical workplace standards, including the freedom of association; and unique opportunities for employees, including education advancement.

To better understand whether employees are living in households that at least meet their basic needs, HanesBrands commissioned in-depth academic research studies of its workforce in developing economies with two distinguished labor economists. These studies were conducted at four manufacturing facilities in Central America, the Caribbean and Vietnam where apparel is sewn into finished products, one of the company’s most labor-intensive operations. These four company-owned facilities employ approximately 12,000 employees of the company’s total global supply chain workforce of approximately 55,000 in company-owned facilities.

The research was conducted by Zagros Madjd-Sadjadi, professor of economics at Winston-Salem State University, and professor Craig Richardson, the BB&T Professor of Economics at WSSU. The company is in the process of extending this research to additional facilities within the company’s global supply chain, including contractor facilities.

Employees live in households that meet basic needs and more

HanesBrands pays market-based competitive wages and benefits to employees around the globe in all disciplines and functions. The wages and benefits provided to employees in its supply chain enable employees to live in households that meet their basic needs and more. Over the past decade, the salaries for supply chain employees have increased at a compound average growth rate consistent with inflation and local market conditions. For our company-owned Vietnam site in particular, over the past five years wages have increased at average compound annual growth rate of nearly 12 percent, significantly better than inflation.

In addition to salary, including incentives, holiday pay, overtime/shift differential and seniority, the company’s supply chain employee compensation package typically includes a combination, if not all, of the following components:

  • Other compensatory compensation
  • Annual bonuses
  • School supplies for children of employees
  • Subsidized meals
  • Health insurance (either direct or paid to government)
  • Subsidized transportation

The company-funded independent research at four of its manufacturing facilities was conducted under academic rigor by professors Madjd-Sadjadi and Richardson to investigate and document workers’ lives and living conditions through the lens of the household unit. The data gathered showed that nearly all households are supported by multiple wage earners (and are often multigenerational in makeup). These studies suggest that families with at least one HanesBrands employee are often contributing to savings weekly, have monthly disposable income to use for “fun,” and have the wherewithal to acquire durable household goods, such as appliances and electronics.

The totality of this data strongly indicates these families are meeting more than their basic needs and are able to rise above their day-to-day physical needs in order to plan for the future. Very few of our employees hold second jobs and few live alone, typically being part of households that have multiple wage-earners that is the cultural norm. A large portion of employees’ families own their own home, and nearly all have the core household durable goods one would expect to meet basic needs. Significant percentages of employees report the ability to regularly add to savings and have income to expend on discretionary items