15 Sep '11, 12pm

UK fashion retailers struggle with 'bonded' girl labour in India - News - The Ecologist

UK fashion retailers struggle with 'bonded' girl labour in India - News - The Ecologist

It’s a big week for fashion in London, with models gracing the catwalks of fashion week and Europe’s biggest urban shopping centre opening its doors in East London. With attention firmly fixed on top designers and high street brands, few stop to think about the supply chains behind the goods they covet. But a report released in May 2011 by the Dutch corporate investigators SOMO highlights the plight of female labourers in India who produce, according to the organisation, garments for major retailers such as Tesco, H&M and NEXT. The report documents how in the widespread and exploitative practise known as a 'Sumangali' scheme, young females ages 14 to 21 are recruited to work for three year periods. They are offered accommodation, wages, and a lump-sum payment upon the completion of their contract (40,000 rupees = £555). Such a deal is known to appeal to young females seeki...

Full article: http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/1054896/uk...

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