The life of a t-shirt


For many of us, the fire and building collapse in the Bangladesh t-shirt factory in April this year was an eye-opener.  Perhaps we’d wondered about the conditions in garment factories before.  Perhaps we’ve even tried to find and buy ethically sourced clothing. But how much do we really know about who makes our clothes? You can read about the disaster and updates on victim compensation in the British newspaper, the Guardian, here.

For a more in-depth and focused look at the garment industry, including getting to know some garment workers, check out the new online documentary made by NPR (National Public Radio).  It really helps us understand both the politics and the economics of the t-shirt making industry.  NPR produces a show called Planet Money.  The Planet Money producers ordered mens’ and womens’ t-shirts and followed the creation of those t-shirts from the cotton fields to arrival as finished garments in the United States.  View “Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt” here.

There is lots of information about the garment industry in Mohawk College Library collections too.  Read these articles and search for more yourself (if you’re off campus, log in with your mocomotion credentials):

Rayman, N. (2013, November 14). Bangladesh garment workers demand higher pay.

Barbosa Pinto, M., & de Souza, Y. (2013). From garment to fashion production: an analysis of the evolution of the apparel industry in brazil. BAR – Brazilian Administration Review, 10(3), 304-322.

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