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Greening or greenwashing dirty laundry? Tracing sustainability in the Tirupur textile cluster.
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Tema Environmental Change.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The contemporary world landscape is epitomised by a highly globalised world economy, where neo-liberal agendas push for ultimate competitiveness and much of the manufacturing and production processes have been relocated from core to semi-peripheral countries. To be able to compete in the global arena, many developing nations and newly emerging economies have sacrificed an approach to sustainable development by neglecting social and ecological aspects. A showcase of such unsustainable growth in recent years can be observed in Tirupur, South India. Tirupur’s heavy export orientation of ready-knitted garments transformed it into a major textiles cluster for fashion retailers and buyer groups worldwide. However, the substantial pollution of water resources due to the discharge of raw effluents by processing units into the Noyyal river and the overexploitation of groundwater cast a shadow on the city’s economic expansion. In order to tackle these challenges, a number of regulatory directives were issued from the mid 1990’s onwards, leading to the enforcement of strict Zero Liquid Discharge norms in the cluster. This study investigates whether intervention efforts directed at Tirupur’s textiles sector have been able to address inherent challenges impacting the local environment and population. The findings gathered from an extensive literature review and a field study to Tirupur suggest that while some problems of the past have been attended to, major sustainability issues remain. Serious concerns such as a shift in pollution and economical uncertainty in the cluster have been identified as consequences from the policy interventions. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 62 p.
Keyword [en]
Intervention, Pollution, Sustainability, Textiles industry, Zero Liquid Discharge
National Category
Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-129924ISRN: LiU-Tema/MPSSD-A- -16/003- -SEOAI: diva2:945339
Subject / course
Master´s Programme in Science for Sustainable Development, 120 ects
2016-02-09, 10:41 (English)
Available from: 2016-08-15 Created: 2016-07-01 Last updated: 2016-08-15Bibliographically approved

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