C&A, other brands under fire over Indian factory conditions

Dozens of western clothing brands, including C&A, are still doing business with Indian textile companies which exploit young girls, the Volkskrant reports on Friday.

The claims are made in a new report by researchers at Somo, which investigates multinational corporations. They say some 20 European and US brands are using factories in the Indian region of Tamil Nadu, where teenage girls are paid below minimum wage levels and are not allowed to leave the factory compound.
But girls who work for three to four years are promised a bonus of up to €800 which they can use as part of their dowry. This is known locally as the sumangali system. Sumangali means married woman in Tamil, the paper says.
Dutch department store giant C&A has placed orders at three of the factories under investigation over the past few years, including Eastman Exports.
A spokesman told the paper: ‘Eastman had the technical qualities to make products up to C&A standards’ and there is ‘no evidence at all’ that workers are being exploited. Eastman has also denied the claims.
C&A declined to answer questions on the other two factories. ‘No one who does business with the Indian textiles industry is able to avoid direct or indirect contact with the sumangali system,’ the spokesman said.

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation