Today we visited the Inertia manufactory, this is the place where our school hoodies and shirts are sewed and prints are done. We went to the manufactory with very low expectations because yesterday Paul informed us about the standards of the conventional garment industry in and around Bangalore. These standards are so bad that our expectations were very low before we arrived at the factory, but we were positivly surprised by the conditions found.
We were very warmly welcomed. It was a very small manufactory with few rooms on the ground floor and on the highest floor of the building. On the ground floor the fabrics were stored, cut and sewn together. These production steps were carried out by one man and three women, but the boss told us that only six women work in the whole plant. The remaining, of the 27 employees, are male. All workers are responsible for all the production steps, they receive the Indian minimum wage. The work space was bright, tidy and clean, you felt as if you were in a workroom in our school.
The sewers were happily chatting and looked healthy. One sewer even spoke some English and we had the opportunity to talk with her about her work. They told us that they work 6 days a week, 8 hours a day and that they are doing better in this factory than in their previous ones. The sewers confirmed the statements which we had previously independently received from their superior. From a social point of view, the conditions seem fair. What has not convinced us, however, was the fact that conventional and organic supplies were stored in the same space without any separation. There is therefore no guarantee that the organic substances will not be confused with the others, since after the processing one can no longer see any difference.
On the upper floor was the printing area. We unfortunately arrived only shortly before their lunch break, so only one worker was to be found. This one, however, was very enthusiastic about his work. We were told every step of the printing process and we were able to print a T-shirt ourselves. We will go to a print shop again and then we will deal more with the ingredients of the colors used for the printing.
In the afternoon we had a long talk with the CEO of the company. This was very revealing regarding the structures of the local garment industry.