Prakruthi´s textiles program promotes better labour conditions in Ready Made Garments factories. Millions of people work in the production of textiles in Asia. The majority of garment products are cotton-based such as T-shirts, men’s shirts, ladies blouses, ladies dress and skirts. The major markets for Asian garment exports are the USA, EU countries, Arabian Gulf Countries, Japan and Australia. Garments are produced in sewing factories and often a part of the production process is outsourced to home-workers. Workers in the factories are often dealing with long hours, poor working conditions and low wages. Furthermore, the activities include awareness raising of environmental sustainability challenges in the textiles sector, like water pollution and firewood consumption.
Codes of conduct
More and more fashion brands and retailers adopt sustainable production practices. The implementation of codes of conduct and standards like SA8000 requires local understanding of the consequences at every stakeholder level. In recent years, Prakruthi has noticed a polarisation of views vis-à-vis Corporate Social Responsibility and standards in the garments sector. With NGOs and labour unions on one side, and factory owners, and brands on the other. There is an urgent need for developing the capacity of the local garment stakeholders on codes and standards. There is also a need for developing the capacity of workers to join trade unions while enhancing knowledge about codes and standards.
Prakruthi encourages the different stakeholders to find collective solutions to social and environmental challenges. Currently, the trade unions and NGOs have a very limited or no role in the audit, verification, monitoring and remediation programs initiated by the standards setting bodies. Due to lack of awareness about the codes of conduct, the stakeholders have limited faith in the efficacy of the social audits and its impacts. Therefore, Prakruthi brings different stakeholders together and create multi-stakeholder platforms for addressing sustainability challenges in the textile sector. The main projects are the Garment Steering Group (GSG) in Bangalore, Karnataka and the Tirupur Steering Group (TSG) in Tirupur, Tamil Nadu.