Recycling Indian Clothing: Global Contexts of Reuse and Value

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Indiana University Press, Jul 16, 2010 - Social Science - 256 pages

In today's globally connected marketplace, a wedding sari in rural north India may become a woman's blouse or cushion cover in a Western boutique. Lucy Norris's anthropological study of the recycling of clothes in Delhi follows garments as they are gifted, worn, handed on, discarded, recycled, and sold once more. Gifts of clothing are used to make and break relationships within middle-class households, but a growing surplus of unwanted clothing now contributes to a global glut of textile waste. When old clothing is, for instance, bartered for new kitchen utensils, it enters a vast waste commodity system in which it may be resold to the poor or remade into new textiles and exported. Norris traces these local and transnational flows through homes and markets as she tells the stories of the people who work in the largely hidden world of fabric recycling.

 

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Contents

THE GLOBAL CONTEXT
3
2 Fieldwork Contexts
21
3 Looking through the Wardrobe
55
STRATEGIES OF CONSERVATION
85
Insert
121
5 Sacrifice and Exchange
121
RECYCLING AND TRANSFORMATION
141
7 Value and Potential
177
Notes
185
Bibliography
197
Index
207
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Lucy Norris is Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at University College London. She is author (with Michael Hitchcock) of Bali, The Imaginary Museum: The Photographs of Walter Spies and Beryl de Zoete.

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