Red Tape: Controlling the International Flow of Apparel

Tuesday, 14 January 2014 09:16 By Anne Elizabeth Moore and Melissa Mendes, Truthout | Graphic Journalism
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2014 0109ld fb"Red Tape," our second strip with Melissa Mendes in "Our Fashion Year," our yearlong look at international gender and labor issues (click here for "Fast Fashion," "Let's Go Shopping" and "The Business of Thrift" with Julia Gfrörer, and Mendes' previous strip, "Zoned"), takes on the policies and people that govern the international flow of garments through the United States. Sound boring? That's 'cause I'm leaving out the parts about bras and terrorists.

As always, our archive of previous strips can be found here. Next month's strip will trace the apparel production line back even farther: to the offshore manufacturers where the garments are produced, and who makes them.

Ladydrawers - Red Tape

Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.

Anne Elizabeth Moore and Melissa Mendes

Anne Elizabeth Moore is a USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Fellow, Weinberg Fellow at the Newberry Library, a Fulbright scholar and the author of several award-winning nonfiction books, including Unmarketable (The New Press, 2007) and Cambodian Grrrl (2011). Co-editor and publisher of now-defunct Punk Planet and the founding editor of the Best American Comics series from Houghton Mifflin, Moore teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She contributes criticism to The New Inquiry, The Baffler, N+1 and many others and writes a monthly comic strip for Truthout called "Ladydrawers" on gender, labor and culture. Her latest book from Cantankerous Titles, New Girl Law, was called "A post-empirical, proto-fourth-wave feminist memoir" by Bust Magazine.

Melissa Mendes is the author of Freddy Stories, a Xeric Award-winning all-ages graphic novel. She received her master of fine arts degree from The Center for Cartoon Studies in 2010, does comics-making workshops for kids, has been an art teacher, and once worked at a convenience store. Melissa lives in Hancock, Massachusetts. You can see more of her work at

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