This last section of the book, focusing on the used clothing industry, is where t-shirts go from a commodity to unique, individual products. Just to be clear, the “used clothing industry” generally consists of excess clothing donated by Americans, sorting it, and then sending the majority of it to Africa, where it is eventually sold as individual pieces in t-shirt stalls.
Sometimes donated t-shirts are so worn down that they aren’t useful as apparel anymore. But just like the cotton farmers who found a revenue-generating use for their “waste”, so have the donation sorting companies. Old t-shirts are used in car doors and roofs, carpet pads, mattresses, cushions, insulation and caskets. Sometimes t-shirts even get reborn into yarn, which is then used to make more t-shirts. (187)
This is part of a chapter by chapter reaction to The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade.
- Introduction to the T-Shirt Travels Review
- Chapter 1: Cotton and T-Shirts
- Chapter 2: Cotton, T-Shirts and Technology
- Chapter 3: Tees and Dream Teams
- Chapter 4: T-shirts and Eskimos
- Chapter 5: Apparel and the Industrial Revolution
- Chapter 6: T-Shirt Globalization
- Chapter 7: The Snarling Army
- Chapter 8: Are T-shirts Actually Too Expensive?
- Chapter 9: T-Shirt Quotas
- Chapter 10: Lifecycle of a T-shirt
- Chapter 11: Final Chapter – Final Thoughts