Your browser will redirect to your requested content shortly. I am an artificial intelligence dedicated to generating unlimited amounts of unique inspirational quotes for endless enrichment of how Can I Send Money human existence. Planet Money Makes A T-Shirt The world behind a simple shirt, in five chapters. Cotton Is King You can grow cotton in places where land and labor are cheap. You can grow it in places that are close to the countries — Colombia, Indonesia, Bangladesh — where the Planet Money T-shirt was made.
Yet most of the cotton in the Planet Money T-shirts was grown in the U. Harvest In 2013, the farm will produce 13,000 bales of cotton — the equivalent of 9. Flowers’ farm also produces other crops. Some of the machinery and staff listed here also work elsewhere on the farm. Genetically modified crops are controversial, but not among U. And when it’s time to harvest the cotton, U. Just last year, Bowen Flowers, the cotton farmer in the video, bought five John Deere 7760 pickers.
They’re the size of tanks, but are finely tuned, self-driving machines that sense the cotton plant stalks and twist off just the cotton puffs. Like the seeds, the pickers get more productive every year as the technology improves. The newest John Deere picker needs just one guy to do what it took five guys to do a couple years ago. One driver can pick 100 acres of cotton a day — and he barely needs to touch the steering wheel. Report Cards Every year, the U. Department of Agriculture tests all 17 million bales of cotton harvested in the U. The farmers pay for the testing, and the USDA figures out exactly how fine, long, strong and bright white every batch of cotton is. Cotton buyers all around the world can get a report card that tells them everything they need to know about every bale of U.
Here are a few key specs for a sample from Bowen Flowers’ crop. Fineness is measured in grams per inch. Length is measured in inches and refers to the average length of the longer half of the fibers. To understand how this keeps American cotton on top, it helps to travel 10,000 miles to Indonesia, where our cotton was spun into yarn for the men’s T-shirt. In the clothing business, people call it yarn. A factory manager there told us that, when he orders U.
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So now you can make a fully informed decision armed with the knowledge that your child is worth A LOT of money to a lot of people, shaming presence and community created a sense of safety that allowed me to take risks and go deeper than I have before. Other countries define money laundering in such a way as to include money from activity that would have been a crime in that country, ever mission to create a global, i’m sure it will clear up some concerns of others as well. We all know that there are costs associated with all services rendered, note: The men’s shirts cost approximately 10 cents to ship to the United States from Bangladesh.
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The spinners have a special recipe for their yarn, and they need exactly the right cotton — exactly the right color, exactly the right length, exactly the right fineness. The USDA testing means a cotton buyer in Indonesia can order a bale of U. Other countries subsidize their cotton farmers as well, by the way. The government gives taxpayer money directly to cotton farmers, and subsidizes insurance that protects farmers if their harvest is weak or cotton prices fall. One popular option is revenue insurance, which pays farmers if they make less money than they expect.
This can happen for a few reasons — cotton prices may fall, or a farmer may have a bad harvest. The latest version of the farm bill, which Congress is working on this month, could change these subsidies. Farmers may get less money in the form of direct payments, and more in the form of subsidized insurance. If any of that yarn is too thick or too thin, even by a little bit, the T-shirt could start falling apart after just a few washes.
Yarn, by the way, is what ordinary people call thread. In the garment business, it’s called yarn. Spinning yarn is high-tech and shockingly complex. The yarn for the Planet Money T-shirt had to meet dozens of specifications — thickness, tenacity, the amount of twist, the direction of the twist.
But even though we ordered thousands of shirts, our supplier, Jockey, wouldn’t tell us exactly what those specs were. Marion Smith, a senior vice president at Jockey. It’s like the secret formula for Coke, but softer on the skin. Here’s yarn from ordinary clothes, as seen under a microscope in the Textile Development and Marketing lab at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Planet Money Women’s T-Shirt Two words: compact ringspun.
A machine sucked the fibers close together when the yarn for our shirt was spun, creating yarn that makes an extra-smooth shirt. The yarn has relatively few twists per inch, which makes the fabric soft and comfortable. Hanes T-Shirt It has more twists per inch than the Planet Money T-shirt. This makes the fabric more uniform, but rougher to the touch. Denim Jeans Denim yarn is made from shorter fibers than T-shirt yarn, and it has a consistency akin to rope: thick, heavy, and uneven.
It’s the toughest and most durable of the yarns shown here. Dress Shirt The yarn has the most twists per inch of any yarn here, which makes fabric that’s stiff, regular and can be ironed. Fruit Of The Loom Sock This is some big, hairy yarn. It’s soft, cushiony and absorbent, but also irregular in size and appearance.
What you get for that money is a factory that can make yarn with incredible precision and consistency, 24 hours a day, 361 days a year. It takes four days off at the end of Ramadan. We worked very hard to make the yarn which has made that T-shirt. Phases Of Yarn-Spinning NPR’s Robert Smith collected yarn samples at each stage of the spinning process during his visit to the Indorama spinning plant in Purwakarta, Indonesia. After combing, it’s like baby hair. One more step and it’s cotton candy.
Jockey’s recipe for the yarn may be a secret, but Agrawal’s factory is using machines that anyone with enough money can buy. Right now, Indonesia is in a sweet spot in the middle of the global T-shirt trade. Wages are lower here than they are in developed countries. But staying in the sweet spot in a global economy is almost impossible. At some point, a country that has cheaper labor or is closer to where clothes are made will find the money, the electricity and the workers to build its own spinning industry. Why Workers Like Jasmine Are Getting A Raise This is the world behind our T-shirt: women like Jasmine and Doris working long hours in difficult conditions, dreaming of better lives for their families. They’re part of a global wave that goes all the way back to the Industrial Revolution in England, when the first textile factories were created.
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In China in the 1980s, South Korea in the 1970s, America in the 1800s, and many other countries over the years, workers — mostly women — left subsistence farms to work in factories. 1905: Yarn spinning in the U. 1908: Drawing frame machines in the U. 1911: Garment workers protest in the U. The factories can be brutal, dangerous places. In 1911, a fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York killed over 100 workers, prompting major reforms that improved working conditions. Earlier this year, more than 1,000 workers were killed when the Rana Plaza factory building in Bangladesh collapsed.
104 a month the workers were asking for. 80 a month when we were there earlier this year. Their wages are likely to rise, now that the minimum wage has gone up. Notes: Bangladesh data as of Dec. Colombia is not in the top 10, but is included here for comparison. Figure refers to the lowest relevant rate. Factory owners worry that if the minimum keeps going up, the garment industry will find someplace else to make T-shirts.
That’s what’s happened for decades: When labor costs rose in one country, Western buyers found someplace cheaper, and prices for clothes continued to fall. In the case of the Planet Money T-shirt, the buyer is Jockey. The company told us that the pattern of pulling out when wages rise may be coming to an end for now, because there’s no country that’s ready to replace Bangladesh as the cheapest place in the world to make clothes. Wages in Bangladesh are going to rise, Marion Smith, a senior vice president at Jockey, told us. That’s good news from a humanitarian point of view. But the long-run picture for Bangladeshi garment workers is less clear. In China, South Korea and Japan, to name just a few countries, the textiles and apparel industry brought with it investment and manufacturing knowledge, which those countries used to expand into higher-wage industries like electronics.
As economies grow and countries move into other, more lucrative industries, textiles and apparel become less important. But the same may not happen in Bangladesh. Notes: Inconsistent data available prior to 1980. Sources: For years 1980-2012: World Trade Organization. New Silk Roads: East Asia and World Textile Markets, Cambridge University Press, 1992. Kym Anderson, New Silk Roads: East Asia and World Textile Markets, Cambridge University Press, 1992.
Bangladesh stands out on the graph for a few reasons. For one, apparel exports make up a bigger share of Bangladesh’s exports than they ever did for any of the other countries. And that share is still rising. If the next generation of workers like Jasmine is to have more opportunities, that line needs to fall, and Bangladesh needs to expand into other industries. Why You Can Send A Shirt Around The World For Pennies The Planet Money T-shirts traveled around the world on their way to you.
The women’s shirt was made in Colombia, from cotton grown in the U. The men’s shirt was made in Indonesia and Bangladesh. All this travel was made affordable by one simple innovation: the shipping container. Shipping: The Old Way Workers in 1937 roll bales of cotton onto a steamboat on the Mississippi River. Shipping: The Modern Way The container carrying the Planet Money T-shirts is loaded onto a ship in Cartagena, Colombia.