Global textile trade and local impact on life and water: A research study of Tirupur’s sustainability claims and prospects

@ATREE auditorium at 3.45 pm on 29th January 2018

In the 1990s, Tirupur in South India became world known for its hosiery textiles at competitive prices, the unparalleled pollution of aquifers and streams with devastating effects for surrounding agriculture, and harsh working conditions for employees in the industry.

Tirupur has transformed many times over. We present results from an ongoing research project regarding the long-term growth of Tirupur’s industrial cluster and its socioecological system. Through a qualitative study and an oral history approach, we investigate the perspectives of industrialists, farmers and households. Has the growth and development paradigm delivered as intended with the country’s first public–private partnership on water supply and sanitation? Did the attempts at improving the wastewater treatment and implementing zero liquid discharge (ZLD) from the early 2000s result in a more sustainable pathway? How resilient is Tirupur to external shocks like the 2016–7 drought?

About the speaker
Dr Jenny Grönwall is a Programme Manager with the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) where she focuses on water governance, textile wastewater reuse and treatment regulation, human rights and the human rights-based approach, and groundwater dependence among poor urban dwellers. With a background in law, Jenny obtained her PhD in water management from the Centre for Water and Environmental Studies, Linköping University in 2008 and was a fellow with ATREE for her post-doc in 2008–09. She has 15 years of experience from working on water access issues in India.