A Shirt in the Market
Clothes available in markets are made of different fabrics – silk, terrycot, cotton, polyester, etc. To make these clothes, raw material is obtained from different sources. To make cotton clothes, cotton has to be grown in the farms. Climatic requirements for cotton farming are warm tropical conditions with rainfall of 850-1100 mm. After harvesting, cotton has to be sold in the cotton market. Many small farmers sell their produce to local traders instead of directly selling it in the cotton market. Small farmers are usually dependent on local traders for loans in order to buy seeds, fertilisers and pesticides.
The cotton is bought by the ginning mills from the cotton market. Ginning mill converts the cotton into bales and the spinning mills buy the bales. Then the spinning mills spin the cotton into yarn. Then the yarn is sold to yarn dealers. Finally, the weavers convert it into cloth.
Erode’s bi-weekly cloth market in Tamil Nadu is one of the largest in the world. Cloth merchants buy this cloth from this market. The cloth merchants sell this cloth to garment factories. The arrangement between the merchant and the weavers is an example of putting-out system. The garment factories in Delhi make shirts from the cloth. These shirts are exported to foreign buyers. Business person from US and Europe demand the lowest prices from supplier. Garment export factories try to cut costs and maximise their own profits. Workers are usually employed on temporary basis. Most of the workers are women. They are paid the lowest of wages.