Its great to be finally publishing our gendered analysis of our work to improve transparency and piece rates for homeworkers stitching leather Footwear in South India. This report was produced using a template from Banalaink and Women Working Worldwide, and extends this important series of gendered case studies in agro-export industries into textile and footwear manufacturing.
Reports and research
Homeworkers are rarely identified in social audits and remain hidden to many of the Brands whose products they are making. This study reviews the effectiveness of tools and approaches that set out to increase transparency in homeworker chains. The research is the first stage in the development of a Toolkit for Brands and civil society organisations, to increase transparency in supply chains involving dependent homeworkers.
The principal barrier to transparency identified are the failure of Brands to take an inclusive approach towards homeworkers who may be part of their supply chains, making factories unwilling to open up their sub-contract chains to scrutiny. Mixed messages from Brands and in particular, policies prohibiting homeworking, give a message to suppliers not to be open about homeworking. Brands can break this cycle of concealment and denial by adopting a Homeworker Policy which allows homeworking and gives permission to their suppliers to disclose its presence.
To find out more, download the report, or take a look at our blog on the Ethical trading initiative’s website
I'm proud to be publishing today the results of our Consultation exercise in 2019, with homeworkers stitching shoes for Pentland Brands in Tamil Nadu. Homeworkers Worldwide worked with our partners Cividep India to trace homeworkers in this supply chain. Tme and motion studies were carried out to establish a fair piece rate for the hand stitching work, and homeworkers' wages subsequently increased in line with this. Our final confirmation exercise with all stakeholders including the homeworkers confirmed that homeworkers' piece rates rose by one third on average, a substantial increase for these low paid women workers. The study also highlighted the importance of brands sourcing from the region to work collaboratively to maintain these gains and extend them to other suppliers. Please get in touch with lucy at homeworkersww.org.uk to find out more about this initiative.
HWW is publishing our Human Rights Due Diligence monitoring report on the leather footwear industry in eastern Tamil Nadu. This summarises the key learnings from our 2018 project funded by the Ethical Trading Initiative's Innovation Fund, which worked with two ETI retailers sourcing from these supply chains, highlighting labour rights risks for both homeworkers and factory workers, many of whom are women, involved in footwear manufacturing in South India.
This is a report of an initial scoping study documenting working conditions within the textile and garment industry (TGI) within Greater Manchester, based on fieldwork carried out in 2017, funded by the British Cotton Growing Association Work People’s Collection Fund. The report highlights the importance of further research to enable workers voices to be heard in the debate to improve working conditions within UK manufacturing, and to prioritise our provisional policy recommendations. HWW would be very keen to collaborate with others to find ways to extend this work. Please contact Lucy Brill at lucy(at)homeworkersww.org.uk to find out more.
This short document highlights the key areas of HWW's work from 2017-2018.
This paper published in June 2018, investigates how Social Accountability International (SAI) – a social certification organisation for factories and organisations, and the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) – an alliance of companies, trade unions and voluntary organisations working to improve the lives of workers – have dealt with concrete complaints about abusive labour conditions in the textile and garment industry in South India. The report was written by Homeworkers Worldwide (HWW), the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) and the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO). The authors looked at how concrete complaints were dealt by ETI and SAI respectively and whether their complaints systems meet the standards of the United Nations Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights. We hope that this report will contribute to on going debates about how multi-stakeholder initiatives and companies concerned to improve working conditions in global supply chains can respond more effectively to grievances raised by workers and organisations seeking to represent them.
Homeworkers Worldwide has been working on the issue of women homeworkers stitching the leather uppers for many years, in many different countries. This report provides a more detailed look at the recent work with homeworkers in Ambur in Tamil Nadu, in partnership with Cividep.
This summary report describes the first phase of our on-going project with Pentland Brands, tracing the homeworkers within their leather footwear supply chain in South India.
Many of the shoes we buy were stitched by women working at home, but the homeworkers who make our shoes remain unrecognised, without rights or respect. This in depth report explores the role of homeworkers in global supply chains, their poor pay and working conditions and the possibilities for change. This report was produced in March 2016 as part of the Europe-wide CHANGE YOUR SHOES campaign.