Apparel Sourcing Intelligence - Worldwide

India’s textile pollution problems seem unlikely to disappear

Throughout 2013, we reported widespread compulsory closure of upstream textile facilities because of severe pollution. The reports went on from February to the autumn  and  by December, the country’s Supreme Court instructed the federal government and 19 states, after a petition from private citizens, to explain why most Indian industrial clusters were still producing excess pollution.


Unsurprisingly, in January 2014, Yale University’s  Environmental Protection Index rated India as producing more pollution hazardous to human health than any other BRIC, or than most major apparel producing nations – and Indian press reported still more polluting dye and bleaching plants. The problems are not limited to small, marginal businesses, or on a small scale: among those instructed to close in February 2013 was a 20 million metre a year Raymond worsted weaving mill, and the Andhra Pradesh government ordered all polluting companies in Hyderabad to move to yet to be planned business park outside the city. But the problem has gained nothing of the traction, in Indian public opinion, among Western activists or from Indian politicians that it has in China – even though China’s pollution problems appear less hazardous than India’s. How long India’s problems will remain untouched is unpredictable.