Fashion

Ballet shoes

Ballet shoes (made in Russia, worn in the UK)
Undergraduate coursework (2006): Maya Motamedi is a student and a ballet dancer. She wears ballet shoes made by a Russian company called Grishko. Grishko are keen for dancers to find out where their shoes are made, what they are made out of, and who put them together. Maya investigates. Click for more...

Beads

Beads (Made in China, used in USA)
Documentary film (2005): in New Orleans during Mardi Gras, women who bear flesh get beads thrown at them. Filmmaker David Redmon meets the women who make those beads, gets to know them, and films them working at high speed for low wages. He shows drunken revellers in New Orleans footage from the factory, and shows factory workers footage of their beads at Mardi Gras. What are their responses? Click for more...

Blouse

Blouse (second hand) (donated in England, worn in Zambia)
Newspaper article (2004): journalist Michael Durham studies the global trade in second hand clothes by following the travels of Dana Simon's blouse. Dana put it in a recycling bank at her local supermarket's carpark in Ashby-de-la-Zouche, UK. Priscilla Msimuko bought it from a Market stall in Chipata, Zambia. What else do they have in common apart from their taste in fashion? Click for more...

Hair extensions

Boxer shorts + (made in Bangladesh & other countries, worn by one man in the USA)
Non-fiction book (2008): the 'Made in...' tags in the clothes worn by self-professed 'All-American Guy' Kelsey Timmerman don't say anything about people who made them. So he sets out to find the factories, meet and get to know some of the people who made his boxers, t-shirt, Levis and sandals. What he writes either naively skims over, or brilliantly introduces, complex trade (in)justice debates (or possibly both). Click for more...

Jeans

Fabric (made in India, destination unknown)
Documentary (2016): director Rahul Jain revisits the fabric factories of his youth to document machines and people that print patterns on the rolls of fabric bought by clothing manufacturers to make the shirt, dress or pair of tights that you or I might wear. His film is beautiful and disturbing. But he doesn't want his audience to do anything in particular after they watch it. It's powerful but not in an activist way. Why would that be? And what will he do next? Click for more...

Jeans

Fashion magazine (models sourced in Russia, photos published in Japan)
Documentary (2011): how do pre-pubescent girls from Siberia end up on the pages of fashion magazines in Japan? Filmmakers David Redmon & Ashey Sabin follow 13 year old Nadya who hopes to live a glamorous life in Tokyo and earn much-needed money for her family back home. The reality is starkly different. These girls are commodities, and this is an exposé of creepynessand exploitation in the modeling industry. Anyone who enjoys flicking through fashion mags should watch it. Click for more...

Jeans

Hair extension (sourced in Russia & India, worn in the UK)
TV documentary (2008): pop singer Jamelia travels to Russia and India to find the person whose hair she wore on a UK National Lottery TV show. She enlists the help of local guides and forensic scientists. She phones her daughter to say where she is and what she's doing. What she finds is not necessarily what you'd expect. Her story almost has a happy ending, but how did she get there? Click for more...

Jeans

Jeans (made in China, worn in many countries)
Documentary film (2005): the first film in Micha X. Peled's 'Glogalisation Trilogy' was a critique of cut price retailer Wal-Mart. For the second, he finds our how its goods can be so cheap. He travels to China, to a jeans factory. Its owner is proud, but the working conditions are harsh, and its clients demanding. Teenager Jasmine is the film's main character. She trims threads, and takes pebbles out of pockets 17 hours a day, but images a different life. Click for more...

Jeans

Jeans (made in many countries, worn in many countries)
Non-fiction book (2008): journalist Rachel Louise Snyder visits five countries and talks with factory workers, designers and many others who work in the global denim trade. She's trying to appreciate the complex, international relations - and the people (she jokes) - that are 'in our pants'. She finds that there is a lot more to denim geographies than any 'Made in...' label can suggest. Click for more...

Socks

Sequin top (made in India, worn in the UK and Ireland)
TV documentary (2008): the BBC produces an expose of cheap clothing retailer Primark. It finds children making its clothes, and sewing on sequins, in factories, slums and refugee camps in India. Primark is asked to contribute to the film before it's shown. Instead, they launch a website countering the BBC's claims, research the film's research, and complain to the BBC that one 45 second scene is fake. Their strategy to discredit the film has mixed success. Click for more...

T-shirt

Shopping bag (made in China, used in the USA)
Letter from factory worker to shopper (2012): Stephanie Wilson buys a pair of Hunter rain boots at the Saks Fifth Avenue store in New York City. Rummaging through the 'free with puchase' bag, she is shocked to find a handwritten letter that begins 'HELP! HELP! HELP!'. It's from a man who made it in a Chinese prison factory. With the help of an NGO and a journalist, she finds him. Is it genuine or a hoax? It helps that he included his email address. 'Click for more...

T-shirt

Socks (made in Bulgaria, worn in the UK)
Undergraduate coursework (2006): student David Roberts has never taken time to think about what his socks did for him, and what others had to do to get them onto his feet. What he finds is that he's treading in political economic geographies that he's been reading about in class and following in the news. He is not walking alone. Click for more...

T-shirt

Summer dress + (made in Romania, India & China, bought in Wales & Northern Ireland)
Messages from factory workers to shoppers (2014): Rebecca Gallagher and Rebecca Jones find an extra label in dresses they buy from Primark. One says 'Forced to work exhausting hours', the other 'Degrading sweatshop conditions'. Belfast shopper Karen Wisinska then finds a letter in the pocket of some Primark shorts. It's written in Chinese, but starts 'SOS! SOS! SOS!'. Publicity leads to an international 'whodunnit?' which ties the company's PR department in knots. Click for more...

T-shirt

T-shirt (new) (made in Cambodia, worn in the UK)
Undergraduate dissertation (2006): student Helen Clare looks through her clothes and finds an H&M t-shirt 'Made in Cambodia'. She's traveling to Cambodia to do some charity work in her summer vacation. Can she find and meet one of the garment factory workers who helped to make that T-shirt for her? And what else can she find out along the way? Click for more...

T-shirt

T-shirt (new) (made in unspecified location in South Asia, sold in Germany)
Repurposed vending machine and film (2015): to mark the second anniversary of the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory complex, Fashion Revolution activists in Germany made a vending machine and placed it in a public square in Berlin. Shoppers were invited to insert 2 Euros to buy a t-shirt. The machine showed them a film about the sweatshop conditions in which they were made and then presented two options: to buy the t-shirt or to donate the 2 Euros. What did people do? It went viral. Click for more...

T-shirt

T-shirt (second hand) (donated in the USA, worn in Zambia)
Documentary film & website (2001): Filmmaker Shantha Bloemen follows t-shirts donated by American consumers as they make their way to Africa to be sold in local markets. Along the way, she finds out how recycling and charity in one part of the world can disrupt economies in another. 'Follow the thing' work is not only about where things come from, but also where they go. Click for more...

T-shirt

T-shirts + (made in Bangladesh, worn worldwide)
Press photograph (2013): Taslima Akhter visits the ruins of the collapsed Rana Plaza factory where over 1,100 garment workers were crushed to death in 2013, making clothes for famous hight street brands. In the rubble, she spots two dead factory workers who appear to have died in each other's arms, takes a picture and posts it online. What effects can a photo like this have on consumers of those clothes? It's profound. Click for more...

Jeans

Ugg boots + ((not) made in Australia, worn in the UK)
Undergraduate coursework (2014): student Charlotte Brunton gets free lifestyle catalogues in the mail all the time. But the lifestyles they showcase are those of consumers, whose lifestyles are separated from those who have made the products on show: like her Zara jeans and Ugg boots. She wonders what a catalogue would look like if their lifestyles were shown together. So she makes one, about her lifestyle, featuring her favourite things, and the people who may have made them. Click for more...