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Garments without Guilt?
  • Coming soon
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Expected online publication date: August 2021
  • Print publication year: 2021
  • Online ISBN: 9781108937573
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Book description

Sri Lanka's apparel sector holds an enviable place in the imaginary of its competitors for having a niche position amongst global retailers, given its claims of producing 'garments without guilt'. Exploitative labour conditions are not part of the industry's portfolio – ethicality, eco-friendly production and unblemished conditions of work are. Sri Lanka's transition away from a protracted ethnic war has meant that the industry portrays itself as investing in the former war zone to create jobs without reflection on how its vaunted mantle, the deployment of ethical codes effectively, themselves may be under duress. This book uses an analytical framing informed by labour and feminist perspectives to explore how labour struggles in the post-1977 period in Sri Lanka provided important resistance to capitalist processes and continue to shape the industry both within and outside of the shop floor. It studies contextual moments in the country's recent history to rupture the dominant narrative and record the centrality of labour in the success of the country's apparel industry.

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