NPR’s Planet Money published an amazing piece of journalism on the mechanics of the global garment industry illustrated by the life-cycle of a cotton tshirt. Alex Blumberg narrates as they follow the shirt from cotton seeds in Mississippi, to the rhythm of the machine weaving process in Indonesia, to the lives of people in Bangladesh and Colombia where the shirts are made, to the box container ships that make global shipping affordable, and eventually onto our bodies. Well, not our bodies, yet. Order a shirt here.

Not only is the story of the shirt, the earth-straddling industry that makes it possible, and the impacts of industry on people’s lives interesting and, in my preachy opinion, capital-I Important, but the presentation is also fantastic—wonderfully shot, concise videos; detail-rich supplementary text, and well-designed infographics. A good way to spend your lunch hour, especially if you care about clothes.

-Pete

How a T-Shirt is Made
Following my post yesterday on the problem with country-of-origin labels, a reader of ours forwarded me some links to this NPR story about how some of the NPR’s promotional t-shirts are made (you know, the kind of t-shirts you get when you pledge money to a radio show). The story goes through the production process step-by-step - from the growing of the cotton to the cut-and-sewing of the garment - and it’s impressive to hear how many countries can be involved in even the making of a simple t-shirt. 
The first update to this story was posted just this past Wednesday (it’s a short 15-minute radio clip, and makes for a good listen). To learn more, you can check out the project’s Kickstarter page and Tumblr blog. 
(Thanks to Matt for the links!)

How a T-Shirt is Made

Following my post yesterday on the problem with country-of-origin labels, a reader of ours forwarded me some links to this NPR story about how some of the NPR’s promotional t-shirts are made (you know, the kind of t-shirts you get when you pledge money to a radio show). The story goes through the production process step-by-step - from the growing of the cotton to the cut-and-sewing of the garment - and it’s impressive to hear how many countries can be involved in even the making of a simple t-shirt. 

The first update to this story was posted just this past Wednesday (it’s a short 15-minute radio clip, and makes for a good listen). To learn more, you can check out the project’s Kickstarter page and Tumblr blog

(Thanks to Matt for the links!)