"Unraveling": Anti-Trafficking NGOs and the Garment Industry

Tuesday, 19 August 2014 00:00 By Anne Elizabeth Moore and Melissa Mendes, Truthout | Graphic Journalism
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2014 0818ld fb"Our Fashion Year" - the year-long comics journalism investigation into connections between the garment trade and the sex trade - finally comes back home in this strip. Looking more closely at recent events, Anne Elizabeth Moore and Melissa Mendes find similarities in language used by US-funded international anti-trafficking NGOs and shut-downs that endanger domestic sex workers.  In "Unraveling," the threads that tie anti-human trafficking organizations to the international garment trade finally give way.

For the previous entries in The Ladydrawers' series, see here. You can also check out "Fast Fashion," "Let's Go Shopping" and "The Business of Thrift" (with Julia Gfrörer); "Zoned," "Red Tape" and "Outta Sight (Out of Mind)" (with Melissa Mendes); and Ellen Lindner's It's the Money, Honey and Out of the Factories Part 1 and Out of the Factories Part 2 (also with Melissa Gira Grant); and Leela Corman's  "The Grey Area" and "The Somaly Problem." Next month the series wraps up with Corman's final strip before we go on break 'til the new year.

Ladydrawers - Unraveled

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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