Where am I Wearing?

A new Book by Kelsey Timmerman

A journalist travels to Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, Honduras, and back to the U.S. to trace the origins of our clothes

Globalization makes it difficult for anyone to know very much about the origin of the products they buy. When journalist and traveler Kelsey Timmerman wanted to know where his clothes came from and who made them, he began a journey that would take him from Honduras to Bangladesh to Cambodia to China and back again. On the way, he discovered as much about people as he did about clothes and globalization. Bouncing between two worlds--that of impoverished garment workers and his own luxurious Western lifestyle--he puts a personal face on the controversial issues of globalization and outsourcing. Whether bowling with workers in Cambodia or riding a roller coaster with workers in Bangladesh, Timmerman bridges the gap between impersonal economic forces and the people most directly affected by them.

This is not a typical book about the globalization of the apparel industry; Timmerman is neither an activist nor an industry defender. Indeed, he has no expertise or special interest beyond the fact that he wonders how the clothing he wears is made. Presenting himself as the ultimate boy next door from a working-class family in Ohio, he uses a casual tone more reminiscent of blogging than muckraking. His curiosity about the origins of his T-shirts, sandals, and other clothing leads him to factories in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, and Honduras. He takes on the project with few preconceptions and little knowledge and perseveres with a charming lack of guile. That sincerity, plus an honest skepticism, allows him to avoid preachiness. This book does not explore the reasons for global inequalities and cannot replace even journalistic accounts, let alone scholarly ones, but for readers seeking a first humane glimpse of the situation without complex arguments or finger-shaking moralism, this is an agreeable choice.

Click below to go to a You Tube video by Kelsey about the writing of his book:

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