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A Moving Story of People and Pants in the Borderless World of Global Trade

From Azerbaijan to New York City, a human-scale view of global trade


“Snyder must be a good listener. Her interest is in the distant voices and still lives of those who are, as one might say, in jeans… she succeeds admirably in animating the lives and the voices.”
– Alex Danchev, Times Literary Supplement

“A fascinating chronicle of the $55-billion-a-year global denim industry. . . .”
– David Futrelle, Los Angeles Times

“A thoughtful, ultimately hopeful look at how our choices about something as mundane as jeans can alter the lives of people 10,000 miles away.” —Fast Company

“Contains a number of surprises about the most ubiquitous of clothes. . . Ultimately Snyder gets readers to think about the real costs of clothing, and its likely they won't look at $30 or $200 jeans the same way again.” – Kathryn Masterson, Chicago Tribune

“Smart and ambitious… Snyder’s investigation is an essential read for those curious about fashion or the globe-spanning business that produces their clothes.” – Publishers Weekly

“In this accessible and lively book, she uses the jeans industry to examine issues of agriculture, free trade, environmental safety and workers’ lives.” – Elsa Dixler, New York Times

“When Rachel Louise Snyder looks at a pair of jeans, she sees faces and ghosts…From start to finish, Snyder is less interested in parsing textile quotas than in portraying the lives of the cotton carders, gin operators and clothes designers she meets… I’ll never view my Levi’s quite the same way again.”
– James Pressley, Bloomberg News

“…next time you buy Seven for All Mankind jeans, you'll know there's more of mankind involved in those pants, you might have imagined.” – Billy Heller, New York Post

“…Snyder is a fine reporter who, uncommonly, does her best listening when her interviewees go off-topic and talk about anything but the product. (She gives great asides.)… No one else could have written anything like her fresh report on an arbitration council hearing a dispute between Khmer union leaders and Chinese management – they didn’t speak the same language, and, moreover, misheard each other’s decibellage; or her melancholy synopsis of the Cambodian minister of commerce and garment manufacturer’s association heads expending $350,000 in Washington to lobby for five minutes’ attention from President Bush, which they didn’t get… It all matters.” – Veronica Horwell, New Statesman

“Snyder attempts to carve out a third path between the overly consumerist and the loftily distant – one that ultimately will have more relevance to consumers’ relationship to fashion in the future.”
– Hadley Freeman, Guardian (UK)

“A rare book on [globalization] that is neither boring nor preachy but a wise tale of what global trade really means.” – Elizabeth Becker, author of When the War Was Over: Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge

“There are people’s stories woven into each pair of blue jeans, and Rachel Louise Snyder illuminates these stories with a reporter’s eye and a human heart.” – Pietra Rivoli, author of The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy

“…[Snyder] seeks to give consumers a different view of the impact the world’s most popular fabric has on our daily lives..” – Ross Tucker, Women’s Wear Daily

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Fugitive Denim

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©Rachel Louise Snyder, 2018