Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

CLOTHING POVERTY: The Hidden World of Fast Fashion and Second-Hand Clothes by Andrew Brooks

  • Written by  Mick Herron
  • Published in Books
CLOTHING POVERTY: The Hidden World of Fast Fashion and Second-Hand Clothes by Andrew Brooks
01 May
2015
The rapid consumption of clothing, and the equally rapid disposal of unwanted garments, drives an international trade in second-hand clothes which reinforces the relationship of dependency between the global north and south

Even when pursued with ethical motives, this undermines local markets, deprives the regional poor of vital work and prevents local textile industries from developing properly.

This is Andrew Brooks’ thesis, and his investigation of less familiar aspects of the industry kicks off with a biography of a pair of jeans, tracking the production process from Zambian cotton farm to Chinese textile plant, to designers in Milan and San Francisco; a tour round a market worth around $60billion.

While the consumer might view fashion as a facet of independence, the underlying truth is that it restricts social mobility on a global scale.

No aspect goes unexamined, from the charities which encourage donation of unwanted clothing, to ‘upcycling’ – using old clothes as the basis for new fashions: style with one eye on the environment.

But even ethical consumption can have its downside, and it’s hard to escape the feeling you’re being scolded – every approach seems to make things worse – but impossible to deny the force of the arguments on show.

CLOTHING POVERTY: The Hidden World of Fast Fashion and Second-Hand Clothes by Andrew Brooks, Zed Books, £14.99 (paperback)

This review was published in the May 2015 edition of Geographical Magazine

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in REVIEWS...

Films

The uplifting story of a remarkable man who sailed the…

Books

by John Higgs • Weidenfeld & Nicolson • £20/£11 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Lewis Dartnell • Bodley Head • £18.99 (hardback)

Books

by Richard Williams • Polity Books • £15.99 (paperback)

Books

by Nicholas Jubber • John Murray Press • £20 (hardback)

Books

by Rob Dunn • Basic Books • £22.99 (hardback)

Books

by Edward Davey • Unbound • £9.99 (paperback)

Exhibitions

From July 2019 to February 2020, the Oxford University Natural…

Books

by Stephen Smith • Polity Books • £15.99 (paperback)

Books

by David Barrie • Hodder & Stoughton • £25 (hardback)

Books

by Juliet Blaxland • Sandstone Press • £9.99 (paperback)

Books

by Bill McKibben • Wildfire • £20 (hardback)

Exhibitions

A new exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery flies forward 100…

Exhibitions

From 12 July through to 10 November, the Fondation Cartier…

Reviews

A relaxed podcast, in which actor David Oakes interviews professionals…

Exhibitions

Exploring ideas of identity, heritage and life after trauma, Bahith…

Books

by Alex Rogers • Wildfire • £20 (hardback)

Films

An ‘environmental thriller’ focusing on the lives of campaigners working…

Exhibitions

The Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition is open to visitors…

Films

In this moving, sometimes harrowing film from director Anthony Woodley,…