Outta Sight, Outta Mind: What Producers Don't Want You to Know About How Your Clothes Are Made

Tuesday, 11 February 2014 09:53 By Anne Elizabeth Moore and Melissa Mendes, Truthout | Graphic Journalism
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Ladydrawers - Outta Sight, Outta MindThis installment of "Our Fashion Year," our year-long look at international gender, labor, and cultural production (click here for "Fast Fashion," "Let's Go Shopping" and "The Business of Thrift" with Julia Gfrörer, and Mendes' previous strips, "Zoned" and "Red Tape") - Melissa Mendes' last on this series - brings us inside the places that make our clothes. The often complicated interplay between national governments and the garment industry isn't pretty, by any means (as Anne Elizabeth Moore reported from Cambodia in January), which is why apparel manufacturers and garment-exporting countries alike often prefer that the factories are kept out of sight and out of mind.

As always, an archive of our previous strips is located here. In next month's strip, by Anne Elizabeth Moore and Ellen Lindner, we'll talk directly to the workers in garment factories around the world.

Ladydrawers - Outta Sight, Outta Mind

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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