You might be surprised to learn that denim is not “any old fabric”.
In fact, it’s one of the most used fabrics on the planet and the denim industry brings in more than $55 billion a year.
It’s big business and Rachel Louise Snyder’s Fugitive Denim says we should all think long and hard about that business.
Rachel’s research is incredibly thorough, and she leaves no stone unturned while tracking the cotton from Azerbaijan to the designer boutique in New York.
She shows how human, political and geographical forces conspire to stop us from learning about where our jeans really come from.
This is the 21st century and any big business has a dark heart and denim’s is much darker than we’d expected.
Unfortunately, Rachel’s research is so thorough that her attention to every tiny detail gets in the way of the story that she so clearly wants to tell.
You find yourself trapped in pages of a cotton picker’s favorite knots and wondering if they’ll ever be over.
This is a shame because the story in these pages is very much worth telling.
If you care about sustainable fashion, then you should care about sustainable denim. (Pro Tip: We buy all our denim at online thrift stores.)
If you have the patience to skim over the minutiae here, there’s a lot you can learn from Rachel’s book.
You can find Fugitive Denim: A Moving Story of People and Pants in the Borderless World of Global Trade online here.
Looking for sustainable jeans? Check out our top picks for ethical jeans brands.
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