Big garment brands and retailers have their products made under exploitative and unhealthy conditions by girls in Tamil Nadu, South India. The girls, mostly younger than 18 and from a Dalit (´outcaste´) background are employed under the Sumangali Scheme. In its worst form, this employment scheme stands for bonded labour, as described in ´Captured by Cotton´, a report published today by the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporation (SOMO) and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN). The report features case studies of four large manufacturers. These enterprises produce for Bestseller (e.g. Only, Jack & Jones), C&A, GAP, Diesel, Inditex (e.g. Zara), Marks & Spencer, Primark, Tommy Hilfiger, and many other European and US garment companies. A number of companies have undertaken steps towards the elimination of the Sumangali Scheme, but abusive labour practices remain widespread.
Jack & Jones, C&A, GAP, Diesel, Marks & Spencer, Primark, Tommy Hilfiger, well these names rings the tune of global brands manufacturing high class cotton merchandise.
Little is known fact about such high profile garment manufactures chain is about the nature of their sourcing activity. These big garment brands have their products made under exploitative and unhealthy conditions by girls in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu, India. The girls, mostly younger than 18 and from a Dalit ('outcaste') background are employed under the ‘Sumangali Scheme.’
- Captured by Cotton - A Story of Dalit Girls of Tamil Nadu by Syed Ali Mujtaba for The Ground Report India, May 21, 2011;
- Exploited Dalit Girls Produce Garments in India for European and US Markets by PR Newswire.
Download the report Captured by Cotton