Okay we admit it, we stole our idea to make a t-shirt and report every part of the process from Pietra Rivoli, who wrote the book, The Travels of a T-shirt in a Global Economy.
After hearing a young activist ask the question, "Who made your T-shirt?" Rivoli, a Georgetown economist, realized she didn't know, but she wanted to. She followed the story of one t-shirt across three continents and along the way she witnessed the many ways government impacted its production. She says in the preface:
While my T-shirt's life story is certainly influenced by competitive economic markets, the key events in the T-shirt's life are less about competitive markets than they are about politics, history, and creative maneuvers to avoid markets. Even those who laud the effects of highly competitive markets are loathe to experience them personally, so the winners at various stages of my T-shirt's life are adept not so much at competing in markets but at avoiding them.
For more about Pietra's book, listen to the three-part NPR series it inspired "The World in a T-shirt."
For more about Planet Money's t-shirt project, check out these podcasts:
Can A Public Radio Shirt Be Cool?
Stealing Our Way To A T-Shirt
The Cotton Wars
Subscribe to the podcast. Music: Matt Nathanson's "Amazing Again." Find us: Twitter/ Facebook.