C&A denies dealing with controversial Indian supplier
International clothing chain C&A denies reports that it has done business with an Indian company which exploits its workers. Dutch newspaper reported on Friday that C&A and H&M had part of their collection manufactured at an Indian factory where workers are exploited.
In response to the newspaper reports C&A says the controversial company Quantum Knits had only made 30 samples for its clothing lines. The samples could have led to an order for 58,000 pieces of clothing. The order was never carried out and C&A says it never had direct contact with Quantum Knits, as it had been approached by a European clothing importer, which wanted to use the Indian company as a supplier.
C&A has a separate firm, SOCAM, carry out checks on working conditions in factories which supply clothing. No such checks had been carried out at Quantum Knits, a subsidiary of KPR Mill, as SOCAM had not yet received the information it needed from the importer to pay a visit to the factory. C&A suspended dealings with KPR Mill three years ago after discovering substandard working conditions.
H&M says it has received reports on sub-standard working conditions in the past, but found no problems during a visit to the KPR Mill. The chain says it will carry out another inspection and will later decide on further collaboration.
According to , workers at the factory are not allowed to leave the walled site after work and are put up in hostels. Wages are not paid out until they have worked for KPR Mill for at least three years and at least a quarter of their salaries are withheld to save for dowries. The workers do not have employment contracts and are forbidden to join unions. The factory reportedly does not employ child labour, KPR Mill says all its workers are 16 or over.
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