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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 61 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 (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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: 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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I bought this for a globalization/sociology class that required it, but I found it fascinating. I agree we don't realize the impact, good and bad, that our off-shore jobs in the clothing industry have on the countries and people. It's not a day/night issue - pulling out the jobs (ie "closing sweatshops") deprives people of work they need and even small amounts of $$ make a difference to entire villages. The author highlights ways in which companies (with consumer support) have improved conditions and stability, and where work still needs to be done. Great reading, especially for the young people who wear a lot of "fashion" clothes, to see where they come from.
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By trk family on September 22, 2014
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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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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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Too many middle class Americans don't know or care how most of the world lives and their hope for the things we take for granted. It's not depressing, but inspiring to read about the sacrifices individuals make for their families to have a better future.
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A provocative and very human story of the people who make our clothes. Kelsey Timmerman opens his readers' eyes to an invisible world the consumer never sees and seldom thinks about. He challenges us to be engaged and knowledgeable consumers. The book is easy to read - the style conversational, which at times takes away from the seriousness of his ideas. Nonetheless, a good read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My daughter read this book at school and even she thought it was a good read. When she finished it, she left it laying on the table so I picked it up and read it. I found it interesting and enlightening. Made me stop and think. Is it a novel - no. But it does provide some insight which is always a good thing. Is nice to know why some things are the way they are.
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