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Fashion Revolution supports Tamil Nadu Alliance initiative

Oct '20
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
London-headquartered non-profit movement Fashion Revolution is supporting the Tamil Nadu Alliance in the launch of the Tamil Nadu Declaration and Framework of Action, which urges major fashion brands and retailers to do more to tackle exploitative working conditions in textile spinning mills in the region and expand transparency to cover all textiles production sites in their supply chains.

The Tamil Nadu Alliance is a coalition of civil society networks, representing over 100 grassroots organisations, working to improve the conditions of workers in the textile supply chain in the state. The global fashion industry is a vital source of jobs across southern India, employing approximately 280,000 workers, particularly young women.

Excessive and involuntary overtime, extremely low wages, physical and sexual violence and restriction of freedom of movement—many of which are indicators of forced labour—have been documented by civil society groups for many years. This is why more urgent and collaborative action is needed to improve the situation for workers in the industry, Fashion Revolution said in a press release.

The declaration calls for reforms on five key areas: transparency, policy development and engagement, fair and equitable purchasing practices, worker-centred monitoring mechanisms, and grievance mechanisms.

It expects expansion of supply chain transparency beyond tier 1 cut-and-sew operations by publicly disclosing the details of all textile, raw material manufacturing processes, and finished product facilities in the global supply chain.

It demands proactive support for policy implementation efforts In Tamil Nadu on minimum wages for textile workers, internal complaints committees, hostel registration, statutory employer benefits, registration of migrant workers and labour inspection.

The declaration urges adoption of responsible sourcing and purchasing practices on price and order placement, and steps to consolidate the supply chain by creating stable, long-term relationships with tier 2 and tier 3 suppliers.

Instead of relying on third-party social audits, it calls for developing collaborative worker-centred, transparent and accountable mechanisms to monitor compliance with labour rights standards.
The declaration also expects support for civil society efforts to develop a collaborative grievance mechanism that provides effective remedy for mill workers in Tamil Nadu.

In support of the declaration, Fashion Revolution has authored a new report, ‘Out of Sight: A Call for Transparency from Field to Fabric’, which explores why greater transparency beyond the first tier of the supply chain is necessary and reviews the current supply chain transparency efforts of 62 major brands and retailers that have links to textile manufacturers in the region.

As part of this collaboration, the UK-based organization will periodically monitor and publicly report on brands’ efforts towards the first goal of supply chain transparency beyond the first tier.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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