After global apparel brands stopped sourcing from Indian apparel exporters for engaging child labour, the industry has decided to adopt zero tolerance to child labour and cleanse the supply chain. Though the extensive auditing of the supply chain will add an additional cost of 5 per cent, but it will at least keep India off trade barriers owing to lack of compliance.
Apparel industry players would now make sure that labour contractors don’t engage child labour and get the supply chain of the suppliers audited so that the industry starts getting orders again. AEPC has designed a compliance programme ‘Disha’ (Driving Industry towards Sustainable Human Capital Advancement) that would be implemented on the $11 billion industry soon. Disha will be coordinated and monitored in liaison with the Ministry of Textile. Global apparel buyers like H&M, Adidas, Next were a part of the team that drafted the program guidelines of Disha.
Global giants like Primark, Gap, M&S have had problems with their Indian suppliers in the past when the latter faulted on compliance. The US imports 30 per cent of business from India.