analysis - indian apparel makers try on ethical supply chains for size
MUMBAI ( Thomson Reuters Foundation- When Indian textile minister Smriti Irani tweeted this week a photo of herself Blue silk saree with label IWearHandloom, her tweet was liked more than 10,000 times and forwarded 4,000 times. Hundreds of people responded to Irani\'s request to post their own photos on hand-woven clothing, including politicians, actors, athletes, models and designers, before the national hand-woven day on August. 7. celebrate the humble hand --woven fabric. As a symbol of India\'s struggle for freedom, hand-woven clothing was once considered only suitable for politicians and villagers. It is now being revived and there is a growing demand for sustainable and ethical fashion, even if the public Stalls in shopping malls and sidewalks are still dominated by clothing. \"Young people and middle class are frustrated with dirty politics and distorted companies, they are more eager for something better,\" said Arvind Singhal, president of retail consulting firm deeppak Advisors. \"The greater sensitivity to people and the environment is \'in\' and people are even willing to pay a little extra for what they think is ethical and responsible,\" he said . \". India is one of the largest textile and apparel manufacturers in the world, supplying leading international brands. But the domestic market is also very large, accounting for more than 40% of the industry\'s income. The industry is dominated by small and medium-sized enterprises. Huge companies are under tremendous pressure to quickly reduce costs and produce clothing. Activists say many people use forced labor and abuse, including wage arrears and debt service, is widespread. The Indian textile and garment industry is paid about $1. 06 hours, compared to $2. According to the World Bank, there are 60 in China. The pressure on profit margins is increasing, and cotton farmers bear it. More than 90% of India\'s cotton is genetically modified, and as these seeds cannot be replanted, farmers have been struggling to cope with rising cotton input costs and lower cotton prices. In the past 20 years, tens of thousands of heavily indebted cotton farmers in the western state of Maharashtra have committed suicide. It was the plight of these farmers that prompted Apurva Kothari, who worked in technology in San Francisco, to return to India and to establish the No Nasties clothing brand in 2011. He said the company purchases organic cotton and audits its supply chain to ensure that workers receive fair wages without child labor. \"I just Googled \'fair trade cotton, \'and then met with cotton producers,\" Kothari said on Goa\'s phone call . \". \"They are all supplying foreign garment manufacturers and it is a challenge to convince them that there is also a market here. But the big response from consumers is a surprise, \"he said. In a few fair trade, is there no nose shit and will you say green? Authorized clothing brand in India. They are from producers such as Rajlakshmi Cotton Mills and Chetna organic, who operate organic and fair trade cotton, pay fair wages, and his seed protection program has an organic \"seed bank \", farmers can extract seeds from them. They got the push from India fair trade, which set up its office in 2013, and stamped a unique round logo on a range of products such as tea, coffee, rice and sugar. It also works with Amazon India to make fair trade -- Certified products are available online. \"It\'s a bit complicated,\" Abhisit Jani, chief executive of India\'s fair trade company, told Thomson Reuters Foundation. \"Lack of technical knowledge, lack of capacity, lack of awareness of the ethical supply chain, even in large enterprises. But the fact that we are invited to talk is a good starting point . \" Since the disaster in Rana Plaza, Bangladesh in April 2013, working conditions and wages in the South Asian garment industry have been subject to greater scrutiny, with more than 1,100 workers killed in the disaster. But analysts say that unless Indian consumers demand more ethical goods, the retailer\'s efforts to clean up the supply chain will have little impact. \"Most buyers have not noticed a farmer\'s suicide or unfair pay and have not linked this to the clothes they wear,\" Jani said . \". He said: \"But it is clear that there are some people who care about it, everything is equal, and if the price is not too high, more people may buy an ethical product. The brand can be inspired by success stories, including Fabindia, according to Singhal of deeppak. Founded in 1960, the company aims to promote different craft traditions and attract young and old consumers, rich and non-rich Too rich, he said. Kothari found no similar challenge. \"How do you resonate with people and make ethical fashion relevant? This is a difficult task, but we are optimistic about it . \"