Cotton is one of the most important resources in the textile chain. Before it can be spun to yarn, cotton has to go through several production steps: The seed for the cotton plant needs to be extracted, the fruits picked and, to receive cotton fibres in the end, the raw cotton needs to be ginned. Most of the production steps take place in the global south, where large parts of the cotton grow. Low wages, long working hours and no employment contracts are typical conditions for cotton production. Living and working conditions for millions of workers involved on different stages of cotton production worldwide, as well as ways to enforce employment rights, are the centre of attention for the efforts of SÜDWIND. The collaboration with the Indian partner organisation “PRAYAS – Center for Labour Research and Action” is essential for the work.


In 2015 and 2016 the authors Dr Sabine Ferenschild and Sudhir Katiyar produced two studies on labour conditions in the textile value chain, ‚Hard Work for Soft Fibres‘ and ‚Make in India‘. Both studies describe working conditions and labour rights violations in different stages of cotton production and processing.


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