Did you know…?

… that in Mexico, over 50% of those that work on the industrial production lines for fashion are women? And yet that despite making up over half of the workers, they make up less than a third of those occupying technical or administrative posts in the sector, as most of them work on the assembly line?

… that even though the work they do is one of the most important sources of income for Mexico (in 2015 alone, the fashion industry in Mexico exported 8 billion dollars of goods), their weekly salaries don’t allow them to purchase even the basic basket of goods?

… that women in the garment industry have to put up with sexual assaults, unfair dismissal, extra hours without pay, no maternity protections, unsafe working conditions, and other forms of violence?

… that from 2007 to 2017 production in the textile sector grew 22%, whilst salaries of the workers grew only 2%?

… that of 132 textile workers interviewed by Colectivo Raíz de Aguscalientes, 100% of them reported suffering from some sort of physical ailment, from neck pain (70%), to anxiety (80%), to exhaustion (89%), as a result of their work?

Source: INEGI, Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, estudio “Mujeres, trabajo y salud laboral” from Colectivo Raíz de Aguascalientes

With the support of Fondo Semillas, workers in the fashion industry are organizing themselves to face up to the violence that they have to live with, and to fight abuses of their labour rights.

Oliva, Lety and Blanca tell their stories.

For 17 years, Fondo Semillas has been supporting dozens of workers collectives for women working in the garment industry in Mexico. At the moment, the following nine groups are receiving resources from Fondo Semillas to continue their organized fight to improve the living conditions of the fashion industry workers.

  • Red de Mujeres Sindicalistas AC (CDMX)
  • Centro de Apoyo al Trabajador AC (CDMX)
  • Colectivo Raíz de Aguascalientes
  • Colectivo Obreras Insumisas (Puebla)
  • Comité Fronterizo de Obreras (Coahuila)
  • Mujeres Trabajadoras Sindicalistas en Acción, MUTSA (Oaxaca)
  • Colectivo Juventud entre Tules, COJETAC (Hidalgo)
  • Colectivo de Trabajadoras de la Maquila y del Hogar de Torreón (Coahuila)
  • Red Defensoras Laborales Unidas de la Maquila

“I don’t have time to eat. The factory wants us to work faster. I alone have to finish 900 trouser seams a day.”

Lety, garment factory worker

“I am a single mother. My daughter was left alone for a large part of her childhood so that I could work in the textile factory to support us. Now she’s a lawyer.”

Oliva, garment factory worker

Garment factory workers take part in a workshop that explains their labour rights.


Help us to continue #WomenSewingChange.