Fugitive Denim: A Moving Story of People and Pants in the Borderless World of Global Trade [NOOK Book]

Overview

“A fascinating chronicle of the $55-billion-a-year global denim industry.” —David Futrelle, Los Angeles Times


Rachel Louise Snyder reports from the far reaches of the multi-billion-dollar denim industry in search of the people who make your clothes. From a cotton picker in Azerbaijan to a Cambodian seamstress, a denim maker in Italy to a fashion designer in New York, Snyder captures the human, environmental, and political forces at work in a complex and often absurd world. ...

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Fugitive Denim: A Moving Story of People and Pants in the Borderless World of Global Trade

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Overview

“A fascinating chronicle of the $55-billion-a-year global denim industry.” —David Futrelle, Los Angeles Times


Rachel Louise Snyder reports from the far reaches of the multi-billion-dollar denim industry in search of the people who make your clothes. From a cotton picker in Azerbaijan to a Cambodian seamstress, a denim maker in Italy to a fashion designer in New York, Snyder captures the human, environmental, and political forces at work in a complex and often absurd world. Neither polemic nor prescription, Fugitive Denim captures what it means to work in the twenty-first century.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Blue jeans are as American as Jell-O and the Beach Boys. But freelance journalist Snyder exposes their backside and splits the seams to look into denim and its global significance. This book more or less parallels the themes of Pietra Rivoli's Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy, so the story is not an entirely new one. However, Snyder does an admirable job of putting a human face on the global genesis of blue jeans as a major product. She picks cotton alongside women workers in Azerbaijan, visits denim fabric designers in Italy, attends a textile chemical association conference in North Carolina, witnesses a May Day garment worker demonstration in Cambodia, and hobnobs with socially aware jeans designers in New York. Through these personal glimpses, the political, legal, and economic realities of globalization become apparent. Synder also explores the success of the organic cotton movement and highlights how Ali Hewson (wife of U2 frontman and activist Bono) and fashion designer Gregory Rogan have teamed up on the Edun line of jeans, which are made with strict attention to responsible environmental and labor practices. The story of these "traveling pants" is a good fit for public and academic library business collections.
—Carol J. Elsen

Fast Company
“A thoughtful, ultimately hopeful look at how our choices about something as mundane as jeans can alter the lives of people 10,000 miles away.”
Chicago Tribune
“Contains a number of surprises about the most ubiquitous of clothes. . . . Ultimately Snyder gets readers to think about the real costs of clothing, and it’s likely they won’t look at $30 or $200 jeans the same way again.”— Kathryn Masterson
Kathryn Masterson - Chicago Tribune
“Contains a number of surprises about the most ubiquitous of clothes. . . . Ultimately Snyder gets readers to think about the real costs of clothing, and it’s likely they won’t look at $30 or $200 jeans the same way again.”
Chicago Tribune - Kathryn Masterson
“Contains a number of surprises about the most ubiquitous of clothes. . . . Ultimately Snyder gets readers to think about the real costs of clothing, and it’s likely they won’t look at $30 or $200 jeans the same way again.”
The Barnes & Noble Review
Most garments carry labels with a single country but handprints from a multitude of nations, writes Rachel Louise Snyder. For her first book, the journalist traveled to a bunch of these nations to unravel the convoluted forces at work behind the production of a pair of jeans. Fugitive Denim -- which carries the arch but accurate subtitle A Moving Story of People and Pants in the Borderless World of Global Trade -- introduces readers to a cotton inspector in Azerbaijan, the struggling former Soviet republic that grows the crop but must send it elsewhere to be spun into thread; a denim designer in Italy, who worries about the relocation of his country's manufacturing sector to Asia; a factory auditor in China, employed by the Gap to monitor overseas working conditions; and, most movingly, two female garment workers in Cambodia, a country that was offered a bigger piece of the U.S. textile market in exchange for working to eradicate sweatshops. Snyder is an amiable tour guide, elucidating the often dizzying contradictions of globalization with wry humor and compassion. And she manages to strike a hopeful tone (the book includes an admiring profile of Edun, the high-end and socially conscious fashion line backed by Bono), almost in spite of her stark portrayal of the environmental and human losses behind each pair of jeans. --Barbara Spindel
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393065107
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/20/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 682,131
  • File size: 465 KB

Meet the Author

Rachel Louise Snyder’s work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Slate, and the New Republic, and on public radio’s “This American Life” and “Marketplace.” She lives in Cambodia and in Chicago, Illinois.
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Table of Contents


Part 1
The Subversive Ecosystem     13
The Vegetable Lamb Conquers the World     30
White Gold and All-Tex Quickie     46
The Little Volcanoes We Carry     54
These Galoshes Were Made for Walking     70
The Particular Dream of Cheesecake Ends     81
Part 2
God's Nectar and Other Denim You Don't Know You Wear     93
Urinating on Your Jeans Just Makes Good Sense     125
How the West Was Won     138
A Society of the Mind and Other Atmospheric Contaminants     145
The Artisan of Unbearable Shopping     156
Part 3
In the Living We Lose Control     167
The Ghosts in the Trees     180
The Long Arm of the Non-Law     209
Three Men and a Foreign Policy     223
A Village with No Daughters     241
Part 4
Knock, Knock, Knockin' on Factory Doors     251
A View of One's Own Fatigued Auditor     270
The Third Party, Exhibit A: The Two-second Handshake     282
The Third Party, Exhibit B: The Last-Minute Orgy and Other Shoppers' Delights     289
The Guardians of Edun     294
Epilogue     312
Acknowledgments     321
Notes     325
Index     335
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2007

    A reviewer

    A month or so ago, I received a call from an excited colleague who was wondering if I¿d be willing to review a book for her. It seems her friend had just successfully published a book and was to begin publicizing it in a round of events. My reply was, ¿Sure, have the publisher send me a copy.¿ A couple of weeks later, a review copy of Fugitive Denim arrived and I thought, ¿What have I done? This may be tough to get through.¿ Well, instead I had a tough time putting it down. Far from a dry treatise on globalization, I found myself immersed in the lives of several characters and wanting to know more about them and how they were ¿getting along.¿ Ms. Snyder, in discussing her book with friends took to joking that it was ¿about the people in your pants.¿ Indeed! This intriguing story about the people who make our clothes educated me on some of the intricacies of globalization in general and the garment industry in particular. The peoples¿ stories are compelling from Mehman Husseinov who loves cotton, to Rogan who designs denim garments with soul and style to Alison and Bono 'Paul' Hewson who want to support workers worldwide and Scott, the auditor who said, ¿The only boundaries that exist, exist in your own mind.¿ Snyder is an award winning 'Overseas Press Award' investigative journalist. She has written for the New York Times Magazine, Slate, Glamour, Jane, Salon and the New Republic. Her considerable skills are on display in this book. She writes in a clear, concise manner with ample footnote and endnote support. Yet she has managed to weave story that wends its way from Cambodia to Azerbaijan to New York and points in between. Her ability to use an incredible amount of detail to build her characters successfully propels the story forward. Snyder has managed to put a wonderfully human face on a very complex issue of pitting our ecosystem against the undeniable forces of globalization and consumerism. From factories to responsible buyers, the story jets from country to country, from person to person and from celebrity to unsung hero. True to her profession, Snyder avoids preaching or forcing conclusions. Rather she puts facts in front of the reader, with the references for validation, and magically mixes the facts with an incredibly creative wit. Fugitive Denim makes the reader laugh, wonder, and shake her or his head at the sheer complexity of the treaties, quotas and labeling systems we have created. Fugitive Denim is an intelligent, compelling and well documented story that is a cut above other books on the pervasive effects of globalization in our lives. This is a must read for any government official or business executive involved in international sourcing or commerce ¿ and who isn¿t these days? David Kinnear CEO, dbkAssociates, Inc.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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