After realizing that all of his clothes were made in different locations, Kelsey Timmerman began to wonder about who made them and what their working conditions were like. Unlike many of us who consider such things, Kelsey took out a second mortgage on his house to travel to Honduras, Cambodia, Bangladesh, and China, while his girlfriend/fiancee waited patiently for his return. He met workers and in some cases observed their factories, and in this book he details their struggles for gainful employment and their lives.
I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect with this book, but I liked and was interested by what I got. Though he’s apparently not a professional journalist, Kelsey Timmerman can write very well and evokes sympathy for these people. We’re right along with him when he sits in their apartments eating questionable food, taking kids on rollercoaster rides they would never otherwise afford, or walking through the factories where the workers do the exact same thing for 16 hours a day. Kelsey realizes that although he doesn’t have any common ground, he can still feel for these people and their predicament; he also realizes what these jobs mean to them and the harm we do by boycotting certain factories and workers. Conditions could be much, much better, though, and through his stories, Timmerman shows us how to be enlightened consumers, how to buy from companies that promote the fairest working conditions and factories that are moderated by a third party. All so that these workers, several of whom become real people to us in this book, can remain working but in safer conditions and with a fairer wage.
I definitely recommend this. A book with a global conscience that should apply to all people who purchase clothes and who can feel sympathy for their fellow people.
Many thanks to Kim at John Wiley & Sons for my copy!