The not sucking has begun


The Bangladesh chapter is about 90% complete. I’m in the process of pulling at and strengthening the narrative thread to make it stand out a little more. I’ve also been toying around with the Honduras chapter, which I’m completely rewriting from the “Made in Honduras” chapter you’ll find to the right, and also the introduction.

Several agents have requested the book proposal and it’s my goal to get it to them before the end of the month. Apparently, the publishing industry is dead in August, which means agents have time to read proposals, but there is not much they can do with them until September.

I’ve posted the rough draft of my intro below the cut. I’m not sure it’s the wisest thing to encourage people to not read your book in the introduction, but in this draft I did.

Introduction: Where am I wearing?

I was made in America. My “Jingle These” Christmas boxers were MADE IN BANGLADESH.

I had an all-American childhood in rural Ohio. My all-American blue jeans were MADE IN CAMBODIA.

I wore flip-flops every day for a year when I worked as a SCUBA diving instructor in Key West. They were MADE IN CHINA.

One day while staring at a pile of clothes on the floor, I noticed the tag of my favorite T-shirt: MADE IN HONDURAS.

I read the tag. My mind wandered. A quest was born.

Where am I wearing? It seems like a simple question with a simple answer.

It’s not.

The question inspired the quest that took me around the globe. It cost me a lot of things, not the least of which was my consumer innocence. Before the quest I could put on a piece of clothing without reading its tag and thinking about Arifa in Bangladesh or Mr. Li in China, about their children, their slim hopes, and their fat problems.

I found guilt.

This trip is about the way we live and the way they live. And why on earth there is such a difference.

I knew the world was imbalanced, but, you know, I never really knew it. Whose fault is it? Is it the factories’, the workers’, the brands’, the consumers’, the politicians’? I’m not sure there is a right answer. It’s our world. It’s our problem. We share it.

What I do know is that it is important that we know about the lives of those who support our lifestyle. It is important that we appreciate what we have.

Where am I wearing? Maybe it’s a question I was better off not asking. Maybe this is a book you’re better off not reading.
Because when it comes to clothing, others make it, and we have it made. And there’s a big, big difference.

Add a comment
Kent says:

My interest is peaked…

Is it a question you were better off not asking?

Kelsey says:

As the old saying goes…

Ignorance is bliss.

But, Kent, I’m glad I asked it. And it is my hope to get a bunch of other people asking it too. Hopefully someone smarter than me can find an answer.

Kyle says:


I really, really like the intro. It has a great hook, and flows well. Good job, man!

Lisa says:

Hey, Kelsey – Love the intro, and can’t wait for the book. You don’t know me from Adam, but your blog has been a great help to my sanity in my daily “cubicle prison”. (I dropped you an email before – I’m the one who loved your fer-de-lance lead.) My husband and I are headed to Central America in a few weeks, and I know I’ll be thinking about some of the people whose stories you shared during your quest…… Thanks.

Kelsey says:

Lisa, Thanks for the kind words. I’m glad I could contribute to your company’s lack of productivity. I hope you have a great time in Central America. I’m not the best person to handout travel tips, seeing how I think hanging at garment factories is so cool and all, but I would to my best to answer any questions that you may have regarding CA. Feel free to email me anytime.

Let your voice be heard!