There is a clear link between fast fashion and the exploitation of women (read Fast Fashion: Is it a Feminist Issue for more) but what about links between fast fashion and sex trafficking? *Threadbare is a graphic novel which sets out to make the connections between the international sex and garment trades and human trafficking.
The topic of feminism and fast fashion is a very complex topic with lots of threads, so connecting it with sex trafficking could make for a very heavy going book. But Threadbare is surprisingly easy to read. The graphic novel style definitely helps with this, as you are able to absorb the information in a different way. Personally, I would have liked Threadbare to delve deeper into some of the topics, although I understand that wouldn’t have been possible using the graphic novel format. The using of comic illustrations made this book very easy to digest, I managed to get through it in one sitting which is pretty much unheard of for me. However don’t think that means the book isn’t comprehensive, you learn so much about the industry and the impact it has on women’s lives across the world.
The topic which drew me towards this book was the link between fast fashion and sex trafficking. I’ve read lots on the fast fashion industry and the ways it exploits workers and damages the environment but very little on its links to the sex industry. I think the book could have gone into a little more detail on this topic. It covered the way NGOs try to get women out of the sex trade by training them to become garment workers (which we all no offers very poor pay and terrible conditions) but I don’t think it dealt with the link to sex trafficking. There was a section on the sex industry in the US, which although fascinating didn’t seem to link in with the topic of the fast fashion industry.
However, I would say that Threadbare is worth a read for anyone interested in the feminist issues around the fast fashion industry. The use of illustrations makes it a very easy book to read, despite its heavy topic. I managed to read all of the comics, but the text is a little small in some of the comics making difficult to read which is something to consider if you have poor eyesight. I liked the use of the comics in the book and felt they helped tell the story of the women in the fashion industry. It is a unique approach which I would like to see more of in non-fiction books.
If you would like to purchase a copy of Threadbare: Clothes, Sex & Trafficking you can find it on Amazon
*Threadbare was gifted to me for the purposes of this review. All thoughts and opinions on the book are my own.