A Shirt In The Market

How Does A Shirt Reach The Market?

Have you ever wondered how are shirts manufactured? What all goes into processing a single piece of a shirt? Ever wondered how many people and how many processes are involved in the making of the shirt that you are wearing? In this chapter, we will look at the life story of a shirt that you find in the market. We will look at this story with the help of a simple example, taking into consideration some places and instances.

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A Cotton Farmer in Kurnool: The First Step

Small farmers grow cotton in their field and during harvesting, they collect the pure white cotton balls. These are then taken to the local traders from whom the farmers had borrowed money to buy fertilizers, seeds etc to cultivate their lands.

Even if the market prices are high, the traders pay a minimum price to the farmers. The farmers are thus out of their debt, knowing little that they could be in a much better position.

The Cloth Market of Erode: The Second Step

Once the cotton balls are sold, the traders engage other workers to convert the balls into cotton yarns. There is a bi-weekly market in Erode, Tamil Nadu that is one of the biggest markets for cloth in the world. A lot of weavers from all over the country come here to sell and understand what type of cloth needs to be done.

In the next step, the weavers supply the cloth to the merchants in return for the yarn from them. This way, the money of the weavers is saved as they don’t have to buy any yarn. However, as matter of fact, they are at huge losses as they are unaware of the prices of the clothes and are paid very less compared to what they deserve.

The Garment Exporting Factory near Delhi: The Third Step

The merchants send the procured cloth to various garment export centers in Delhi. The garments factory manufactures shirts that are sold to the chain of businesses from the US and Europe. These companies set various standards of quality and time. Most of the garment centers, under pressure, try to extract the maximum work from the workers at minimum wages.

The Shirt in the US: The Fourth Step

The shirts from Delhi are sold in USD in the US. For example, the shirt that costs Rs 200 sells at Rs 1200 in the US.


Market and Equality: The Final Step

This kind of system allows many foreign businessmen to make huge profits at a global level while the garment manufacturers make moderate profits. The poor farmers and merchants get meagre payments and thus, the gap widens. Therefore, the Indian government has formed various co-operative societies to help provide fair wages to one and all.

Question For You

Q. What made Sushmita sell the cotton to the trader, instead of selling at the Kurnool cotton market?

Ans: Sushmita decided to sell the cotton to the trader instead of selling at the Kurnool cotton market because she had borrowed a huge sum of money from the trader at the starting of the cultivation season. She had borrowed this money at high-interest rates to buy fertilizers, seeds etc.

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A Shirt In The Market
  • How Does A Shirt Reach The Market?

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