Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017


Threadbare: Clothes, Sex and Trafficking, Anne Elizabeth Moore, Microcosm Publishing, 2016

In graphic novel form, this book shows the connection between the people who sew the clothes, the models who wear the clothes and the mall stores that sell the clothes. The number of such stores is rapidly shrinking, as chain after chain goes out of business because they are not fast enough in satisfying the public's fashion needs.

In the past, there were several different fashion lines per year, so clothes might be in a mall store for up to several weeks. These days, if a shopper sees something they like, they should buy it today, because it may not be there next week. What happens to the unsold clothes? Some of them may end up at a place like Goodwill. Others will go to specialized companies that buy the clothes for pennies per pound. They recycle some of the clothes into insulation, for instance, while a large amount gets shipped overseas to be sold (not to the country where they were made).  An increasing amount of unsold clothes goes right to the local landfill. Americans donated about 12 pounds of clothes per capita to charity, but, in 2012, about 70 pounds of clothes per person went in the trash.

The Asian factories where these clothes are made are literally sweatshops. The workers are, metaphorically, chained to their sewing machines all day. The pay is low, and the conditions are terrible. Workers can be fired for practically any reason. Health and worker safety laws that American workers rely on are non-existent in these factories. American-created free trade agreements, like NAFTA, are a major reason for the disappearance of the American textile industry. In desperation to leave the garment factories, many women will join the sex industry. It certainly has its own set of disadvantages, but the pay is a lot better than in the garment business. Anti-sex trafficking NGOs, to get women out of the sex trade, will put them in front of a sewing machine for many hours a day, putting them right back where they started.

This is a very eye-opening book. As a graphic novel, it is very easy to read. A blurb on the back of this book says that colleges that offer degrees in fashion need to add this book to the curriculum. That is a very good idea.


  1. WOW, this looks like my kind of book to read. Thanks for sharing this with us. I'm going to go get me a copy of this. Thanks again.

  2. Threadbare seems to be an interesting novel, we should know about what goes behind our ever growing fashion, and cloth industry, such a detailed review, I'll definitely check out this book, Thank you for writing!