Labor, Gender, and Culture: Our Fashion Year

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Since shortly after I started doing it a little over three years ago, I’ve been kicking around the idea of turning the Ladydrawers strip on Truthout into an in-depth series of reports on labor throughout the international garment trade, based partially on my experiences reporting on the Cambodian garment trade for the same publication. Now—as you know since we already announced and you probably already read it—we’re doing it.

Our very first post in the new series gives a quick history of the garment trade in the last hundred-ish years. Called “Fast Fashion” and drawn by the amazing Julia Gfrörer, it basically answers the question you’re going to spend the next year asking yourself: Why is the garment trade so crazy? (Read it here.)

September’s strip, “Let’s Go Shopping!” Starts to look at the labor involved in the garment trade, starting with the retail workers a fast-fashion outlets in the US (specifically, we spoke to workers in Chicago stores, but we can’t tell you their names or which ones). (Read that one here.) It’s also by Gfrörer, because we’re working with artists for longer runs, since we can make better comics that way. (You can check out her other work here.)

October’s strip—Julia’s last one—I’m really excited about, because we’re looking not only at the weird-ass thrift and textile recycling industry, but the incredibly complicated labor (and environmental) issues that come with it. And then in November, I’m like totally dying about, because it’s about warehouses, and how they sit on land the US government has denationalized, which makes them really common places to find rampant labor abuse. We’ll also have a new artist then—also incredible—but we’re going to keep that name a secret.

The collective has a few other exciting announcements coming up, but the series is really exciting—and about to get even more so. Please let us know what you think!

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