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.
Reports and research
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.
This briefing highlights the main findings of our research with young women garment workers in Tamil Nadu. These women workers are producing garments for multinational companies, including some big names on the British high street. The briefing describes a range of labour rights abuses, which amount to conditions of forced labour.
This briefing note explores the Tamil Nadu textile and garment industry, how it has changed in recent years and why so many workers are subject to gender and caste discrimination and other rights abuses.
This briefing note explores what constitutes ‘forced labour’ and how it manifests itself in the textile mills and garment factories of Tamil Nadu.
This briefing note explores the work-related health problems experienced by workers in the textile mills and garment factories of Tamil Nadu.
This brief report provides an outline of our main areas of work and achievements for the year 2014.
From 2011 to 2013, Homeworkers Worldwide (HWW) worked with Women Working Worldwide (WWW) on a project funded under the DfID RAGS scheme to work towards improvement of working conditions of women workers in the garments and textile sector. Our work focussed on Tamil Nadu, India where we and our partners worked with women homeworkers in the textile city of Tirupur, and with young women and girls from rural Pudukkottai who are recruited to work and live on-site in spinning mills and garment factories. Both groups of workers face significant rights abuses, with bonded and forced labour present in the mills and factories in particular.