A handful of textile mills in the Tamil Nadu area of India have been accused of employing forced labor and have been linked to major fast fashion giants including H&M, Primark and C&A. According to “Flawed Fabrics,” a report from the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations and the India Committee of the Netherlands, which was compiled “through a mixture of desk research and interviews with workers,” an array of core labor rights are being violated. Girls and young women are “being lured from their home villages [at as young as age 15] by false promises” and are working under “appalling, prison-like conditions” in which the women are often bonded.
According to British Vogue, the mills are used by the retailers’ suppliers, suggesting that there is “no direct link.” However, many brands associated with the mills have announced that they plan to take action immediately. H&M, which has been using one of the mills in question thanks to one of its Bangladeshi suppliers (yes, H&M still manufactures heavily in Bangladesh), has announced it will “blacklist” the mills, thereby, prohibiting its suppliers from ordering yarn from it.