July 2018 - India’s textiles industry has a long tradition and still represents the largest export sector of the country. Despite the fact that awareness for social responsibility has risen during the last years, there are still a number of challenges to be coped with.
In order to face these jointly, the initiative ”Tamil Nadu” was founded in the context of the German Partnership for Sustainable Textiles. Target of the initiative is the improvement of working conditions in the textiles and apparel sector of Southern Indian state Tamil Nadu. Focus is set on the spinning industry. 80% of the workers in this sector are women, whose rights e.g. regarding freedom of association and self-determination are often not yet granted to a sufficient extent in the current political and cultural context.
Together with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development as well as other representatives from civil society and the private sector (such as Otto Group or Tchibo), HUGO BOSS engages in the initiative, which is currently scheduled until 2020. The Company also took part in the initial workshop organized with representatives from the textiles industry in India in 2017. The members – including HUGO BOSS – participate with a financial and/or in-kind contribution, expertise and networks in the realization of the project. Besides, selected HUGO BOSS suppliers also support the realization of the initiatives at local level.
After all members of the Partnership involved in the initiative have signed the contract at the beginning of July 2018, the activities were officially taken up. In cooperation with local NGOs, this includes trainings to educate employees and management on employee rights and complaint mechanisms. The establishment of legally binding arbitration and complaints committees is also promoted. The initiative is furthermore committed to establishing a willingness for dialog and cooperation between all relevant groups involved in the textile industry in Tamil Nadu.