Garments and Textiles

Arisa is committed to structural improvements in the garment and textile sector. Learn more about this sector below.

There is much information available on the often poor working conditions in the garment sector in South Asia. Problems in the garments and textile sector include low wages, unpaid and excessive overtime, and unsafe factories. These problems and the information available tend to focus on the factories that produce garments, which is only the first stage and a fragment of the overall supply chain. In addition to investigating these issues at the Tier 1 level, Arisa also investigates working conditions further down the supply chain – beyond the factories: for example, in the spinning and weaving mills where the fabrics come from, or in the fields where the cotton seed is grown.     

In the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, research and long-standing collaborations of Arisa show that forced and child labour is widespread in spinning mills. If links are found to garment companies in the Netherlands or Europe, these companies will be held accountable. It is essential that companies also take responsibility for working conditions and abuses further down their supply chain.     

Recycling clothes sounds like a responsible approach, but Arisa’s research into textile recycling in India shows that there are many problems there too. For example, wages are well below the legal minimum wage, child labour is widespread, and the work is dangerous due to unprotected exposure to dust and chemicals.        

Arisa works to bring about structural improvements in the garments and textile sector. It is part of the international Clean Clothes Campaign and works with companies on projects to address and improve working conditions in producing countries. In addition, Arisa participated in the Covenant for Sustainable Clothing and Textiles from 2016 to 2021.