Tapping into the huge workforce of homemakers, women who manage their homes with free time during parts of the day, many renowned international brand clothes pay them mere pennies for an hour to get work done like embroidery, beading, and lacework, making fringes or tassels, snipping threads, and stitching button holes.
In northern India, where most of the workers were located, about 76% started home-based work due reasons like severe financial hardship, family pressure, or lack of alternative income. For their labor, tallied on a piece rate, these workers typically received the equivalent of about $0.13 to $0.15 per hour, which was 50 to 90% lower than the state-stipulated minimum wages.
These workers are literally invisible with shoppers not even realizing that it was homemakers who worked on the garment which they were buying. Actually, even the companies for whom they work would not know the exploitation happening as the contractor and then the subcontractors in the middle are the ones to blame. But surely, subconsciously, the companies do know that such conditions exist.
Maybe it time to get brands to start paying attention, and to take steps to make sure homeworkers are being properly paid and protected