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Clothing Poverty

Have you ever stopped and wondered where your jeans came from? Who made them and where? Ever wondered where they end up after you donate them for recycling? Following a pair of jeans, Clothing Poverty takes the reader on a vivid around-the-world tour to reveal how clothes are manufactured and retailed, bringing to light how fast fashion and clothing recycling are interconnected. Andrew Brooks shows how recycled clothes are traded across continents, uncovers how retailers and international charities are embroiled in commodity chains which perpetuate poverty, and exposes the hidden trade networks which transect the globe. Stitching together rich narratives, from Mozambican markets, Nigerian smugglers and Chinese factories to London's vintage clothing scene, TOMS shoes and Vivienne Westwood's ethical fashion lines, Brooks uncovers the many hidden sides of fashion.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1. A Biography of Jeans 2. Clothes and Capital 3. The Shadow World of Used Clothing 4. Cotton is the Mother of Poverty 5. Made in China and Africa 6. Second-Hand Africa 7. Persistent Poverty 8. Old Clothes and New Looks 9. Ethical Clothing Myths and Realities 10. Fast-Hashion Systems

About the Author

Andrew Brooks is a lecturer in development geography at King's College London.


'A new book has revealed that most of what we hand over actually ends up getting shipped abroad - part of a GBP2.8bn ($4.3bn) second-hand garment trade that spans the globe.' BBC News Magazine `Revealing.' Independent `An interesting and important account.' Daily Telegraph 'Both wide-ranging in its theoretical purview and also in its empirical focus, Clothing Poverty is a quintessentially geographical work. It's therefore all the more significant that on its publication, the book was engaged with by both an academic and a popular audience.' Antipode 'Brooks packs a great deal of such detail into a fast-paced and readable book.' Morning Star 'Clothing Poverty takes us on a fascinating global journey that provides powerful new insights into how fast fashion and charitable donations of second-hand clothes are connected with persistent poverty in Africa and elsewhere. By bringing global systems of clothing provision into clearer view, the book offers valuable resources for vigorous debate over what an alternative world might look like.' Gillian Hart, author of Rethinking the South African Crisis: Nationalism, Populism, Hegemony 'Andrew Brooks's Clothing Poverty is a lively exploration of the hidden world of fast fashion and second-hand clothing that invites us to think of where our clothes come from. The book reveals a complicated geography of wealth and poverty that make Western consumers complicit in creating a clothing production system that gives people in the global South few chances to escape poverty.' Karen Tranberg Hansen, Professor Emerita, Northwestern University 'A mind-opening tour of global clothing systems, from recycling flows to radical advocacy. Andrew Brooks has created a book that sparks with intelligence, mapping a world that connects inequalities, Vivienne Westwood, post-consumption and second-hand garments.' Kate Fletcher, London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London 'Clothing Poverty takes the reader on a global journey to expose the inequalities and injustices that exist within the second-hand clothing trade and the manufacturing of garments destined for Western markets. Thought-provoking and insightful, Brooks highlights a long overdue need for "radical advocacy" to improve social justice within the supply chain, and between producers and consumers. A fascinating, must-read text for those interested in the ethics surrounding sustainability in fashion and design.' Alison Gwilt, author of Fashion Design for Living and A Practical Guide to Sustainable Fashion 'This engaging and well-written book significantly contributes to our knowledge of the second-hand clothing trade in Africa. It focuses on some of the least explored outcomes of the fast-fashion system we all live in - that is, what we increasingly and quickly cast off.' Alessandra Mezzadri , SOAS, University of London

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