Reviews for Where am I Wearing? : A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People That Make Our Clothes

Booklist Reviews 2008 October #2
"Journalist Timmerman travels the globe in search of the factories that manufactured his clothing. Tracking a T-shirt, underwear, jeans, and flip-flops leads him from Honduras to Bangladesh to Cambodia and China. It is not surprising that he encounters heart-wrenching poverty or gains an eye-opening view of how much the average piece of American apparel is marked up. What is unexpected is the revelation of just how much harm is done to workers when overseas manufacturers are boycotted. Timmerman's interviews with numerous factory workers make it clear that taking away their jobs is akin to creating a poverty tsunami. Yet, as Timmerman confesses, "There isn't a single worker who makes my clothes who lives a life that I would find acceptable." Like most of us, he wants a simple solution to the problem, rather than be faced with the paralyzing morass that is global poverty, and so he suggests some costly, if important solutions. The injustices of the global clothing industry must be more thoroughly researched and addressed. Timmerman's heartfelt, if somewhat disjointed, chronicle is a good beginning." Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.

Library Journal Reviews 2008 October #2

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.--Lisa Klopfer, Eastern Michigan Univ. Lib., Ypsilanti

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