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.
Reports and research
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.
This summary is a brief introduction to the main findings and recommendations of our Stitching Our Shoes report on homeworkers in the leather footwear industry. It was produced by HWW, Labour Behind the Label and Cividep as part of the CHANGE YOUR SHOES campaign.
This report gives a brief overview of our work in 2015.
It is not unusual for the leather shoes you see in high street stores to be made by women working at home. Homeworking is a standard part of the production chain for certain types of leather footwear. Tamil Nadu, in South India, is a major producer of leather shoes for export, and thousands of homeworkers work in the industry, most commonly hand stitching uppers. These homeworkers receive low pay, and no employment security, despite having a lifetime of experience working in the industry. This briefing explores the role of homeworkers in Tamil Nadu's leather footwear industry, and outlines what action is necessary to strengthen their position and improve their working conditions.