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Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  300 ratings  ·  40 reviews
"Stitched Up" delves into the alluring world of fashion to reveal what is behind the clothes we wear. Moving between Karl Lagerfeld and Karl Marx, the book explores consumerism, class and advertising to reveal the interests which benefit from exploitation. ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published January 30th 2014 by Pluto Press (first published January 2nd 2014)
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May 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, fashion
I reserved 'Stitched Up' at the library as soon as I discovered its existence, because it combines two major interests of mine: clothing and criticising capitalism. Unfortunately, the single copy in the library catalogue appears to have been lost two years ago, so I waited in vain. Then during lockdown I learned that my local radical bookshop was taking orders online and delivering them by bike, so I bought myself a copy. I enjoyed 'Stitched Up' very much, as it neatly dissects the many environm ...more
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fashion buffs, Socialists
Recommended to Skjam! by: Goodreads
Disclaimer: I received this book through a Goodreads giveaway on the premise that I would review it.

Fashion…isn’t something I notice a lot. I buy clothes when I have to, and try to wear matching socks, but I don’t know a lot about fashion as a subject. This book may or may not have helped with that.

Early on, Ms. Hoskins defines fashion as “changing styles of dress and appearance adopted by groups of people” so that she can talk about the entire clothing and accessories industry, as opposed to ju
Stuart Hill
Feb 12, 2014 rated it liked it
I won a copy of this book from the First Reads giveaways programme.

Stitched Up attempts to pick apart the fashion industry to reveal the dark underbelly hidden underneath all of the glitz, glamour and surface flash. The result is a narrative which is compelling and at times horrifying. It generally seemed well researched, though I did notice that one citation referred to a review of a book rather than the original text itself which seemed somewhat lax, as it seemed to indicate that the author ha
Paul Ataua
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
I am totally interested in change and how change comes about over time, so while I’m not interested in fashion, I am attracted to books on fashion that purport to give insight into the phenomenon, and “Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion” seemed like a must read. The book itself essentially boils down to three points. Some people have made a lot of money from fashion, the magazines tell the people what to wear, and life would be better if people ignored the magazines and made their ...more
Feb 19, 2014 rated it liked it
An illuminating and thought-provoking look at the fashion industry, the machinations behind it and its impact on society. It does a great job of exposing some of the myths behind ideas such as 'ethical' fashion, consumer choice and empowerment, and the fashion media. The chapters on the fashion industry and race, gender and the environment are fascinating and horrifying in equal measure. In comparision, the final three chapters, in which Hoskins discusses how the fashion industry might be reform ...more
Jan 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Such a great novel for the fashion lover. My sister and I have always been fans of the subject and this book was the absolute holy grail of it. :) Keep the good reads coming Tansy!
Feb 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Having worked in fashion previously this book has given me a really different perspective on it! Well written and very to the point.A great read which kept me interested all the way through.
Trung Nguyen Dang
Dec 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
While there are some good points about exploitation in the fashion industry, the rest of the book is just annoying rambling against the industry including:
- capitalism is terrible and people made a lot of money out of fashion industry. Well, to me it's the same in other industries and fashion is not an exception.
- people are better off making their own clothes. Really? in these days and age. Does the author have a basic understanding about economics? Should a highly paid lawyer start spending
Jessie (thatchickwithabook)
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. Stitched Up has been a truly eye-opening read. Touching on everything from racism, to sweatshops, to sizing in the fashion industry, its main focus is capitalism as how it affects the entire industry.

It’s quite a depressing read, to be truthful. Obviously to tackle a lot of these issues individually is proving difficult. Tackling capitalism as a whole seems impossible.

“As disappointing as it may be to hear this, there are no ethical clothes for sale. Temporary disappointment is, howev
Mahsa Etemadzadeh
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Well except for pro-communist parts (which was a relatively massive part of the book) it is a pleasant and informative book.
Katrina Sark
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
p.7 – Neoliberalism refers to an economic model championed by Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, and Bill Clinton and Tony Blair in the 1990s. It emphasizes the liberalization of trade, the global integration of markets, the deregulation of state power and the privatization of public services, all of which are portrayed as inevitable, like gravity. Neoliberalism drives down wages and pits workers in different countries and companies against each other in the so-called
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
First of all: "This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review."

I quite enjoyed this thorough and comprehensive review of the fashion industry and its impact on the economies and of the world, not to mention the environment. The author has evident passion for the subject, and has clearly researched the topic extensively. Whether this is your first foray into the world of fashion or just an attempt to stretch your knowledge further, this book is an excellent
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must-read

"The notion that supporting a multinational corporation by buying its products will help solve poverty and reduce inequality is an extremely clever pretence that fundamentally alters the perception of corporations and lets them appear interactive, inclusive and charitable. It is fundamentally contradictory. Poverty is the result of an exploitative system of global capitalism, of which multinational corporations are key exponents and beneficiaries. What is actually occurring with chari
Jan 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
This is a very good book.

I tend to lean more towards the free-market model, but I do realize that there are significant flaws within our system. I don't follow fashion, but I do wear clothing and have recently become interested in trying to sew up some of my own clothing. So, given all that I am surprised at how well the author was able to write an impassioned, reasoned book that addresses the disastrous effects that unmitigated consumerism, environmental degradation and body shaming have on a
Dec 16, 2013 rated it liked it
I received Stitched Up as part of a Goodreads giveaway.

I was excited to win Stitched Up because, while I do not work in the fashion industry, I have recently had to work closely with it for a work project. As a self-professed tomboy who dressed for comfort, I was fascinated and often aghast at the prices designer clothing and accessories fetch, the disposable attitude towards these incredible expensive items, so I was interested to hear Hoskins' perspective.

Stitched Up is a Marxist examination o
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fashion, 2018
For the past 3 months, I've been watching movies, tv shows, listening to podcasts and reading books about the fashion industry. It's practically all I did during my free time, yet this book is the first time I've come across such a negative view of the fashion industry. Most people in the industry dislike or are unwilling to talk about the dark realities of their industry. I think more awareness should be raised about the way this industry impacts our environment and companies should be held acc ...more
Jan 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I received Stitched Up as part of a Goodreads giveaway.

I was blown away. This book changed my whole outlook on fashion and the fashion industry. A very strong voice throughout the whole book that makes such good points that you just can't ignore. I am outraged at what goes on behind the scenes and how they can use a little marketing to make us simply forget. Cognitive dissonance is a powerful thing. I look at labels and brands so differently. I was once just a blind consumer, now my rose colored
Mar 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I won "Stitched Up" in a First Reads giveaway.

This is a well-written and compelling expose of the ugly side of the fashion industry. Tansy Hopkins has done a huge amount of research and the results are truly shocking. I was appalled by some of the revelations in the book and will never feel the same way about clothes shopping again.
Jan 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The perfect read to become fashion de-victimised.
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: feminist, marxist
4.5 stars.

This was a surprisingly fun read. I was fairly interested in fashion in high school. I don't really admit this to people I meet, but I actually used to flip through WWD photos of Paris, London, and New York shows back then. I think it was probably rap music that stoked that interest for me (I still like listening to rap bars ladled with designer label names) and I eventually gravitated mostly towards colourful/wonky or monochromatic/drapey Belgian stuff. It was a phase, like most thing
Jul 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
It doesn’t take much of a sceptical view to see the fashion industry as the embodiment of capitalism. Here is an industry the very basis of which is dissatisfaction, with ourselves, with the contents of our wardrobes, with the options available last week to replenish that wardrobe and with the (corporeal/bodily) frame we have available to hang those contents on. Tansy Hoskins sets out to explore and make sense of how this particular industry works as a capitalist practice, and in doing so she un ...more
Aug 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
One of the best research-style books I have ever read (and I had to face quite a few when working on my BA and MA degrees). Informative, captivating, insightful, interesting, well-written, easy to read, comprehensible and full of poignant quotes. I especially enjoyed the one by Constance Markievicz.
I am a reader of Vogue, I watch documentaries like The First Monday in May and The September Issue as well as The Gospel According to Andre - I feel I do see the magic and beauty of fashion but this
Katharine Harding
May 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Definitely worth reading. I didn't agree with all of it by any means, but it is thought-provoking and I will certainly reconsider my approach to fashion having read it. The chapters on gender and race are especially good.

I must say that having recently done quite a bit of travelling around Eastern Europe I am firmly not in favour of communism, and I dont think it is a good system for the general population to live under. Nonetheless, there is a great deal wrong with consumerism and fashion is a
Kimberly Gallup
Mar 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Makes you think about the people working under horrible conditions creating each piece of clothing in your closet. A real eye opener but not sure about the solutions. I don't believe in socialism, but still hold hope that a solution can be had for people working under these nightmare situations. I only buy second hand now but I use to be a victim of fast fashion when I lived in new york. Shopping filled an empty void that was never satisfied. It's a nasty and expensive cycle. I don't know what t ...more
Sep 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Really interesting read about the state of our world through the lens of one of the biggest industries out there. I would recommend to anyone.

“For every critical word in this book there exists a beautifully handcrafted item that captures the superior of its time. But who made those cloths, and why did they not get to wear them?”

“A person with bread has many problems, a person without has only one” - on dieting and remaining thin for the modeling standards of the industry, I think this works for
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Everyone everywhere should read this book. It's an essential read for anyone that wears clothes and lives in the modern world. It has made me so much more aware of how my clothes reach me, and has allowed me to pledge to be more conscious and more vocal about how to change the world of fashion in any small way that I can. ...more
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fashion
No other way of doing fashion than Tansy Hoskins way.
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
Just read choice bits. Really pushes into every last hidden nook of fashion production and marketing. The whole sordid lot of it.
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I hope this book will make us aware of a certain reality.
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Tansy Hoskins is the author of 'Foot Work – What Your Shoes Are Doing To The World,' an exposé of the dark origins of the shoes on our feet. [19th March 2020.]

Her first book 'Stitched Up – The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion,' was selected by Emma Watson for her ‘Ultimate Book List’ with Emma saying “By the end of the book, she makes a strong case for nothing less than a revolution.”

Tansy works as

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