The Sweatshop Regime


There are an estimated 1200 garment factories in Bangalore employing approximately five hundred thousand garment workers. The majority of this workforce is comprised of women garment workers. Exploitative working conditions in garment factories prevent women workers from making any improvements in their lives via their work. Moreover, women workers leave factories at a young age in order to meet the needs and demands of social reproduction.

This study depicts the post-work life of garment workers in Bangalore. The findings show that most former women garment workers take up informal work to sustain their livelihoods. The precarious nature of employment in garment factories leaves women workers with very little savings, thereby reducing women’s bargaining position and their agency to transition into a decent post-industrial life. This important piece of research sheds light on the “industrial afterlife” of former garment workers in Bangalore, which more often than not is a life of debt and informal work.

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