Stockholm-based Henne & Mauritz AB, known as H&M, is banning all products from a southern India company after reports that its manufacturers hired children and maintained “appalling” working conditions.
Five mills of the Tamil Nadu-based Super Spinning Mills Ltd. have been producing yarns and fabrics made under forced labor and child labor in terrible conditions, according to a report by the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO).
The Indian company denies the report, but would not cooperate with H&M, according to an H&M spokesperson.
It’s crucial to note the role of watchdog group the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations, or SOMO, in this saga. SOMO conducted interviews and other research for its report. H&M itself doesn’t contract directly with Super Spinning Mills, but has banned any supplies from it to be used in its apparel. That will likely require significant changes within the supply chain.
But it was the right thing to do, and certainly involves labor practices that American consumers are increasingly aware and intolerant of.