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Industree empowers garment workers in India

An enterprise from India is creating an ecosystem of thousands of self-employed women, who work where they are than in far-off traditional garment factories. Industree Foundation was founded in 2000. Some 30 million women in India rely on fashion for employment. Industree aims to tackle poverty in the garment manufacturing industry and enable the garment industry to grow sustainably, embracing new technologies and empowering women.

Industree goes to tribal artisans and works with them in mud huts. It helps organise them into production units and create a sustainable business at the lowest possible cost.

In a traditional Indian garment factory, women commute on an average four hours a day. They either have to pay rent if they live away from home, or pay high daily travel costs, and are then vulnerable to having their wages, which are sent home to support the family, taken by a man.

Industree’s goal is to decentralise manufacturing, with the micro-entrepreneurs required to commute no more than five kms. This means women can keep more of the money they earn, and put more into child nutrition, the household, and the local community. This is also linked to a fall in domestic violence. Educating women on ethical production practices could also have an impact on climate change.