Threadbare: Clothes, Sex & Trafficking

Best Investigative Reporting on Sex Work 2016, Tits & Sass

“[S]imple, graphic … artfully illuminating.” —LA Times

Threadbare is an ambitious, eye-opening, muckraking investigation.” —Bitch

“Useful and engrossing for fashion watchers and women’s issues activists, teens, and adults.” Library Journal

“A fascinating read, full of disturbing information.” — Comics Worth Reading

“A feminist comic book that’s a must-read for the modern consumer…. Threadbare brings these issues to life and eschews a textbook feel.” — Innocent Words

“A gut-wrenching yet vital zine about exploitation, consumption and production … a serious slab of truth that should be required reading for every fashion-loving feminist.” —Bustle (from “5 Badass Feminist Comics to Read”)

“Moore’s conversations with sweatshop workers, models, retail clerks, and humanitarian aid workers highlight the vast need for global labor reform—and the arresting visuals are stunning proof of where graphic journalism can go.” —Andi Zeisler, Bitch Reads

“Connects all the threads of industrial and imperialist abuses, and presents a seamless and ugly portrait of an imperialism that never died, only changing to better fit the times—an imperialism which is still at the heart of so many exploitations and abuses worldwide. With rope from the garment industry itself, she creates a noose to hang it with.”—Tits & Sass

“The scope of this subject is enormous … but the clarity with which Moore and the Ladydrawers break down parts of this immense system into smaller, digestible pieces brings an overarching framework into focus. Reading this book leaves you with the baseline knowledge to back up what you might have always suspected: that a whole lot of people are making a ton of money at the expense of the rights, conditions, and livelihoods of workers who are predominantly women. … Threadbare is excellent …  the type of book I wish I had been forced to read in high school—the kind of counter-narrative education that cultivates more thoughtful and engaged citizens.” —Nat. Brut

“The anti-trafficking narrative criminalizes and endangers consensual sex workers and through lack of any other options pushes more women (cis and trans) in places like Cambodia, India and Haiti into the harsh, dangerous and often times worse-than prostitution conditions of the garment industry. Women worldwide are kept in poverty, and the same myth remains: sex work is sex trafficking, and a woman is better off in the sweatshop than the brothel. In Anne Elizabeth Moore‘s latest comics journalism expose Threadbare, we see these myths unravelling.” —Morgan Claire Sirene, Slutist

“[E]xtensive and surpassingly even-handed in painting a global picture of the devastation caused by big business and western consumer practices…. Many of the strips approach the grim subject matter with a wry sense of humour that would only work in the comic medium, reminding me once again just how powerful panels and speech bubbles can be in the right hands.” —Shelf Abuse

“Even if you think you’re an expert on this subject I guarantee that you’ll find new information in here, and the comics are drawn by the some of the best artists working today. If you know any millionaires please tell them to throw some money at people who are looking to do this type of graphic journalism, because the world needs more of it.” —Optical Sloth

“Tell your schools and libraries to purchase it, order it from your local comic shops and bookstores, and buy copies for your friends! Awareness is important; awareness can increase the number of people who try to vote for policy-makers who have these issues on their radar. Ultimately, there isn’t much we can do on an individual level, but we can spread the word.” —Women Write About Comics

“Retaining … nuance without losing sight of the cross-national global economy that exacerbates … structural violence is no mean feat, and there can be no doubt that this is in part down to Moore’s shrewd journalistic eye and experience of the industry about which she writes. However, Threadbare is also testament to the fact that the multi-panel, visual layout of comics is particularly adept at representing and interrogating the various layers of discrimination and violence perpetuated within the industry, from the obvious to the subtle. That the comics of which Threadbare is constituted were published first online—and can still be read for free on Truthout—is indicative of the democratically accessible public space that contemporary comics journalism is currently in the process of producing.” —Comics Grid

“A brilliantly constructed report … that not only informs the reader of the relationship between fashion (especially ‘fast fashion’ – cheap, mass produced clothing that is taking the global market by storm) and the international sex and trafficking trades but also provides nuanced, personal stories from women whose lives are directly affected by the issues at hand. The combination of astute research and intensely personal artistic styles is what makes this book. This is no ordinary comic: this is a manifesto.” — Harriet Earle, Comics Forum

“Full of startling statistics…the comics are beautifully drawn and the rendering of the interview makes it seem as though you are sitting in the room with Moore and her interview subjects, sharing in their stories.” — Broken Pencil

“If you care about the general welfare of women, and all people around the world,
this book is for you.” —Portland Book Review

“Unlike the missionaries posing as agents of change and NGOs very frequently doing the same, Threadbare gives us a glimpse of the morally complex global catastrophe that is the garment industry without a hint of a savior complex. I applaud [Moore] for her audacity. Through each country she takes us to, she calls into question the motives of leaders of clothing companies, aid organizations and politicians. Staring down the gun’s barrel, she presses on. Cambodia reveals a slew of misdirected NGOs and violently oppressive government  …  while the US and Austria are a mess of blind, insatiable consumerism. It seems as though entire nations are supported by the controversial work of these women, so to disrupt the status quo is to shake the system to its very core. Her comics present anecdotes paired with implicating statistics, but right when I revert back to my youthful idealism and hope to get some oversimplified solution to unsatisfactory wages, false reporting on working conditions, or whether sex work is morally abhorrent, she moves on to the next dilemma. This formula parallels reality in that it’s a book full of grey, trying to unravel these overlapping issues and having no one person or party to blame.” — Margaret Ulrich, Medium

“Anne Elizabeth Moore and her team of talented women cartoonists prove the strength of comics as tool for translating impossible complexity to our everyday experience.” — Jessica Abel

“A compelling and comprehensive portrait of the human cost behind what we wear. The sharp, gorgeous, and distressing Threadbare will leave you questioning both your wardrobe and the state of the world as a whole.” —Tim Hanley

“A fascinating look into the lives behind our clothes. From the people who make them, to the people who model them, to the people who sell them, our clothes are part of an intricate network which spans the globe. The art in Threadbare helps draw a personal connection to what might otherwise be overwhelming statistics, and gives an intimate look into the way the world is affected by what we buy.” —Sarah Glidden

“Describing the environmental, social, economic and personal costs of fast fashion in a style cool as gin, Threadbare is both a damning indictment and a stellar example of comics journalism.” ­— Molly Crabapple

Threadbare is a brilliant amalgam of art, storytelling, consciousness-building,
and old-fashioned muckraking.” — Maya Schenwar

“A must read!!!!” — Carol Tyler

Threadbare draws the connections between the international sex and garment trades and human trafficking in a beautifully illustrated comics series. Anne Elizabeth Moore, in reports illustrated by top-notch comics creators, pulls at the threads of gender, labor, and cultural production to paint a concerning picture of a human rights in a globalized world. Moore’s reporting, illustrated by the Ladydrawers Comics Collective, takes the reader from the garment factories of Cambodia to the traditional ateliers of Vienna, from the life of a globetrotting supermodel to the warehouses of large clothing retailers, from the secondhand clothing industry to the politics of the sex trade. With thoughtful illustrations of women’s stories across the sex and garment supply chain, this book offers a practical view on a growing problem few truly understand. With Leela Corman, Julia Gfrörer, Simon Häussle, Delia Jean, Ellen Lindner, and Melissa Mendes.