Giving Compass’ Take:
• Aarohi Damle and Priyansha Singh discuss what the top-down, informal, and buyer-driven approach of the textile industry means for the female migrant workers subcontracted at the lowest end of the spectrum.
• How can funders best ensure the future of women’s work?
• Read about three reasons to boost women’s work.
Evolving from colonial and post-colonial industrial and trade policies, today the Indian textile industry directly employs an estimated 45 million people, making it the second largest source of employment in India. With an extensive jurisdiction stretching from farms to ready-made garments, the textile industry’s contribution to India’s GDP increased from 1.69 percent in 2011-2012 to 2.3 percent in 2016-2017, as per the National Accounts Statistics.
India’s unique and lucrative position in the global textile and garment production network is often attributed to its proximity to agriculture and production networks, such as those for traditional handloom and embroidery crafts. But the highest value addition to raw materials and textile occurs at the garment manufacturing stage, through a coordinated but geographically decentralised mix of dying, cutting, stitching, and ancillary tasks such as embroidery and buttonholing. In India, these labour-intensive tasks have become concentrated in manufacturing clusters with specific product specialisations. For example, Ludhiana has emerged as a hub for winter knitwear and Bengaluru is a hub for menswear and woven garments.
Apparel manufacturing hubs are few and far between, and output demands are high. Consequently, the local labour supply is supplemented by a moving workforce. More than 70 percent of the workforce in the biggest hubs—NCR, Tiruppur, and Bangalore—comprises of circular or temporary migrants,1 making migration an essential factor for production.
Read the full article about India’s textile sector by Aarohi Damle and Priyansha Singh at India Development Review (IDR).
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