Global buyers expand sourcing from Indian apparel units: AEPC

COIMBATORE: With more and more apparel units addressing the issue of child labour, global buyers like Walmart and Zarahave preferred to expand their merchandise sourcing from India which may fetch more business of USD 3 billion in 2013-14, garment industry body AEPC said today. 

The 
Apparel Export Promotion Council(AEPC) said that factory-compliant manufacturing in India has surged with new and unprecedented export orders in the current season. 

"In the present volatility in international buying, brands have preferred expanding their merchandise sourcing from India. The flow of expansion of orders in India is expected to fetch additional USD 3 billion (around Rs 17,500 crore) business in the country," it said. 

In 2012-13, the apparel exports declined by 5.76 per cent to USD 12.92 billion due to demand slowdown in major markets of the US and Europe. These are the biggest markets for India's garment sector. 

AEPC said global chain stores and brands like Walmart, 
GAP, JC Penny, Nike, Marks & Spencers, TESCO, Mango, ZARA and French Connection and many more maintain the highest standards of factory compliance. 

The Textiles Ministry has set a target of bringing 2,900 apparel units in the 12th Plan under DISHA, a programme aimed at encouraging members to follow better social practices, against the backdrop of pressure from developed countries, like the US and EU to meet global standards on labour issues. 

DISHA, which stands for Driving Industry Towards Sustainable Human Capital Advancement, was launched in December 2011 and is implemented by the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC). 

According to 
APEC, the apparel units had immensely benefited through DISHA intervention in areas of environmental protection, health and safety, workers' wages, recruitment, written policy and identifying and managing legal records and registers. 

"Over 200 garment manufacturing units have already gone through vigorous capacity-building in the area of 11 management principle under DISHA like working hours, wages, health and safety, prohibition of child labour and forced labour, right to collective bargaining, environment protection, besides implementation of management system," AEPC President A Sakthivel said.