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Where am I Wearing: A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People That Make Our Clothes Paperback – April 24, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

An Entertaining And Thought-Provoking Look Behind The Curtain Of The Global Economy

When journalist and traveler Kelsey Timmerman wanted to know more about 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. In Where Am I Wearing?, Kelsey introduces you to the human side of globalization—the factory workers, their names, their families, and their way of life—and bridges the gap between global producers and consumers.

Updates to this paperback edition include:

  • The author's astonishing search for the garment worker in Honduras who inspired the book and who underwent a death-defying journey of love, sacrifice, and hope

  • The lives of the factory workers and their families now, and how the global financial crisis affected them

  • A visit to a fair trade Ethiopian shoe factory that is changing lives one job at time

  • Discussion guide for teachers and educators, focusing on sweatshops, child labor, fair trade, individual and corporate social responsibility, and other global economic issues

About the Author

KELSEY TIMMERMAN is a freelance journalist and public speaker. He's spent the night in Castle Dracula in Romania, gone undercover as an underwear buyer in Bangladesh, and taught an island village to play baseball in Honduras. His writing has appeared in publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and has aired on NPR.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 2 edition (April 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118277554
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118277553
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

I'm the author of "Where am I Wearing?" and a freelance writer who focuses on globalization, travel, the outdoors, adventure, and what it means to be a Touron (moron + tourist) in worlds of clashing cultures.

I've spent the night in Castle Dracula in Romania, gone undercover as an underwear buyer in Bangladesh, played PlayStation in Kosovo, taught an island village to play baseball in Honduras, and, in another life, I worked as a SCUBA instructor in Key West, Florida.

I was made in America.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fashion Industry: Learn about where clothes are made and what actually goes into it. Who the people are. How it all works.

Travel Enthusiasts: If you travel, I mean really travel, then you'll love this book. The stories take you into the cultures of the world.

American Consumers: Before you start chanting against "sweat shops" and for "American-made" maybe you should understand the rest of the world better. A sweat shop in the USA would be a travesty and unjust. One in Cambodia simply keeps children from prostitution. I'm not making a political statement for or against anything (and neither is this book), it's just a statement to encourage people to learn about all angles, not just "American-made" mindsets...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The language in this book is not something I would recommend for some people,but this book, Where am I Wearing, is an amazing book and I thank Kelsey Timmerman for opening our eyes to the world and people who make our clothes. I will share this story with all of my friends, family, and strangers so that we all have an understanding of how our clothes are made and how our purchases can impact others. They may make different opinions than I, but from now on I'm going to make an effort to choose my clothes carefully.
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Format: Audible Audio Edition Verified Purchase
Where am I wearing describes the author's visits to a number of the counties were certain articles of his clothing were made. Along the way, we meet a number of garment workers and discover what their day-to-day lives are like and learn something about how the economies of their countries operate. We learn a lot of nuance along the way -- overseas garment factories are not easily classified as "sweatshops" and "not sweatshops," and the people who work there often have better lives than they would without those jobs. In the end, Timmerman challenges us to be engaged consumers, to know where our products are made and to search for sellers that engage in ethical sourcing. He gets a little preachy at the end and ends up making some suggestions that really aren't supported by his description of the factories. For example, he talks about what you can do if you only want to buy US made clothing, after talking about how these very poor foreign garment workers really want US consumers to buy their products.

Unfortunately, Timmerman could use a good editor. He writes like a travel columnist trying to fill space, often going into digressions that have nothing to do with his topic. For example, he discusses the 1992 Olympic "Dream Team" in some detail, even though it is only extremely tangential to the topic at hand (in this case, a New York factory that makes uniforms for professional sports teams). And, the book seems to be too much about him -- far too much "I hope," "I think" and "I feel.
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Format: Paperback
If you are looking for a condemnation of the clothing industry in third world countries from a raving activists viewpoint, this is not the book for you. If you want an easy to read human based story about the people who make our clothes and an honest look at the pros and cons of the industry, this is the book for you.

Timmerman has an easy to read voice that makes one laugh. He investigates the clothing industry from the viewpoint of the workers, adding personal touch to controversial topics like child labor, sweatshops, and workers rights in the third world.

As consumers, we speak through our spending. This is the kind of book that brings to light the differences among countries that house the textile industry. Highly recommended to the reader looking for a personal touch about the people who made your clothes and a tour through the streets, villages, and cities that they live in.
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Format: Paperback
This is one fantastic book. "Where am I Wearing" is a thought-provoking book that raises more questions than it answers -- but that's Timmerman's main thrust: economic justice is a tricky business, with few black or white answers. Timmerman comes across as a very likeable, average American -- not an academic type at all. His profiles of those who make our clothing are riveting. Anyone interested in social justice, clothing or crazy road trips should read this book. I just hope Timmerman writes a sequel -- maybe, "Where am I Eating."
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By trk family on September 22, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Good story and informative. makes you think before you buy that new must have from a store. and even though he doesnt attempt to be preachy but let you come to your own decisions in the book... i must say his own reading on audiobook is....well lets just say you may want to read it outloud yourself! i hope his publisher finds someone else to narrate his next book!
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Format: Paperback
"Where am I Wearing" is Kelsey Timmerman's attempt to locate the people who made his five favorite articles of clothing. Timmerman goes to great lengths throughout the book to be ambivalent about the morality of sweatshops and buying from cheap overseas labor, but his incongruous conclusion to the book preaches "buy American." Timmerman's writing is humorous and casual, so the book goes very, very quickly. It's one of the quickest reads I've had in a long time.

Timmerman remains more of a tourist than an investigative journalist. He meets a small handful of workers and takes them to lunch or out for a fun evening. He talks with them and inquires about their life stories. He is even able to follow two of them to their home villages in Cambodia and China, where he learns that the workers in garment factories are supporting families in the country. Timmerman does not spend much time in the factories themselves, except in Bangladesh where he is "tricked" by a translator into posing as a buyer, and in the United States, where a factory in New York welcomes him with open arms.

Throughout the book, he makes the point that people working in these factories work long hours in grueling jobs for what anyone in the West would consider a paltry salary. Still, that paltry salary is slightly better than what they would be making elsewhere, especially in the provinces. It is therefore difficult to demonize these factories by calling them sweatshops, despite the fact that they would be called as such by anyone in the West. Still, in the end, Timmerman's only call to action is to "buy American."

Timmerman does a casual job describing the supply chain, sufficient enough for this book.
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