Read-along, Anyone?

As I do more research about sweatshops and labor inequality in the garment industry, I’m finding myself completely overwhelmed by all that is out there. I feel like I don’t have a basis for understanding globalization, what it means for our economy and the economies of the countries where our clothes are made, and what I can do to help change working conditions for people on the other side of the world. A quick search brought up this book:

and since it’s described as “highly readable,” (and it’s less than $20 from Amazon) I decided to give it a go. I’m hoping that, somewhere between finding ways to keep my four kids busy and out of trouble this summer and working to keep my house from being declared a world Superfund site , I’ll get it read. Anyone up for a read-along? A sort of virtual book club? No? Well, if not, I’ll try to give you all a summary of what I’ve read every once in awhile. And if you’re still not all that interested, check out some changes that will be coming to my blog in the coming weeks — more resources on where to buy union-made clothing, more tutorials, and a weekly focus on thrifted and homemade items that features YOU and YOUR stuff. So make sure you stop by tomorrow and every Tuesday to share the pre-loved and handmade items you’ve rescued or created with your own two hands. And whether you’re a regular reader or a first-time visitor to my site, I hope you’ll take some time this week to check out the tags in the clothing you wear. Visit your favorite stores, look at the labels, and take note of where your clothes come from. Ask the salespeople if they know where their stores’ clothes are made and who makes them. And then ask yourself how our biggest companies can produce all of their products outside of the United States, yet still offer rock-bottom prices. The answers, I think, will change the way you shop.


3 Responses to “Read-along, Anyone?”

  1. 1 Andrea June 21, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    I’d love a summary =) After working as a social worker in NYC I became very aware of all the sweat shops here in the U.S. It was rather shocking. I was also surprised by the recent accusations against American Apparel. On a whole though, if you look beyond their obsession with sex appeal, it is one of the better options, even if they use less than ethical tactics to prevent employees from unionizing.

    I’m definitely inspired by you! Keep on writing!

  2. 2 Claudia Almandoz June 24, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Hey Darla!
    It´s me, Clau, from Handmade Con Amor, Thanks for your comment! I left a happy reply on the same post… I live in Mexico, Amazon is tough to get here as far as shipping goes, but I would be WAY interested to read your summary. This is somthing that interests me greatly, part of the reason why I sew and sell… but sometimes it feels like people in this country don´t care where things come from as long as it´s cheap and pretty. So instead of mopeing around and feeling like a socially conscious loner (please forgive my spelling), I´d rather cozy up to summaries and people like you! may I? HUG, Clau

  3. 3 2hippos July 19, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    I just found your blog and that book looks interesting. There are a lot of books about early-20th century American sweatshops but fewer people pay attention today. In terms of contemporary corporations and labor practices, Bethany Moreton’s recent book *To Serve God and Wal-Mart* discusses how Wal-Mart became the behemoth it is today and it’s own in-store and exported labor practices (and why they’ve been so successful at keeping workers despite those practices). It’s readable and worth it, even though it meanders a bit at times. My local library has it; perhaps yours does too.

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