Geography Education
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Scooped by Seth Dixon
onto Geography Education!

T-Shirt Travels

When filmmaker Shantha Bloemen was stationed in a remote village in Zambia as a worker with an international aid organization, she had to adjust to living in a different culture. But one thing struck her as oddly familiar: almost everyone in the village wore secondhand clothing from the West. Bloemen began to imagine stories about the people who used to wear the clothing, wondering if the original owners had any idea that the castoffs they had given to charities ended up being sold to Africans half a world away.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This PBS documentary shows some of the unexpected consequences of globalization and less well-publicized economic interactions.  This online supplemental to the video allows users to track the journey of a T-shirt.  For additional reading on topic, this article shows how some the same process is impacting the those in Haiti.  The complex interactions that stem from globalization never cease to amaze me.


Tags: industry, economic, poverty, globalization, Africa.

Kristen McDaniel's curator insight, July 19, 2013 9:48 AM

It's fascinating to look at the effects of globalization, and a great look at how economies change.  When people in the Western world drop a bag of clothes off at a charity, I doubt we think they'd end up in a village in Africa. Warning:  it does get a little preachy at the end. 

Mr Ortloff's curator insight, October 8, 2013 12:44 PM

Is direct aid a good thing or not? How does secondhand clothing impact local economies?

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 3:57 PM

Westernization is a popular theme thats happening in the East. Even though people don't know it, the clothes they give away may be some that are taken to places like Africa. Hand-me-downs are popular in the U.S. but even more so in Africa. The t-shirt you give away to someone might end up across the world. Who knows.

Geography Education
Digital resources to strengthen the quality and quantity of geography education in classrooms the world over.
Curated by Seth Dixon