In Tirupur, Tamil Nadu, a lot of processing plants still struggle with huge problems regarding work safety and process ecology. Although the approach to support the processors as a group to introduce better practise is very promising and good results are available, Solidaridad faces often the challenge that the companies they work with are not used to calculate pay-back times as a basis for investment. There is also some scepticism whether certain best practice would work in local settings, respectively which advisor one can trust. As Tirupur is also a place where a lot of suppliers with commercial interest can be found.
H&M addresses the topic of ecology in wet processing with minimum requirements the company defined by itself. The cleaner production program (a tool developed with Beco, NCPC Inida) has been introduced to 32 dyeing factories in three different countries.
Huntsman, wants us to consider that the natural dyes as even more polluting than the synthetic ones. Just the area to plant indigo for denim dyeing each year would need the area of the size of Switzerland. Natural dyestuff needs more time in processing and even more water than the synthetic pigments.
A question that remained unsolved was about who has to be blamed as responsible (government and/or the dyestuff company) for selling chemicals to Tirupur’s processing companies, knowing well that they even do not dispose of any waste water treatment.