chapter  8
18 Pages

Textiles and Clothing

As Adam Smith ([1776] 1998) pointed out, basic and proper clothing enables peo-

ple to appear in public without shame and thus is an important means to human

development. Clothing plays a crucial role in human development not only in the

form of finished goods. The labour-intensive production of textiles and clothing

generates significant employment-and productive employment provides people

with the means for a decent standard of living and enhances their self-esteem and

their participation in society. Moreover, in most economies, employment in textile

and clothing production is biased towards women and thus has a gender dimen-

sion. But the processes often used in textile and clothing production may have seri-

ous adverse effects on human health and the environment. All these issues have

implications for human development. So does the structure of international trade

in textiles and clothing.