Virtual Event: Sofi Thanhauser


A People's History of Clothing

in conversation with AVERY TRUFELMAN


January 31, 2022
7:00 PM ET


Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.


Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes acclaimed writer SOFI THANHAUSER for a discussion of her nonfiction debut, Worn: A People's History of Clothing. She will be joined in conversation by podcaster AVERY TRUFELMAN, producer of the award-winning mini-series Articles of Interest.

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About Worn

In this panoramic social history, Sofi Thanhauser brilliantly tells five stories—Linen, Cotton, Silk, Synthetics, Wool—about the clothes we wear and where they come from, illuminating our world in unexpected ways. She takes us from the opulent court of Louis Quatorze to the labor camps in modern-day Chinese-occupied Xinjiang. We see how textiles were once dyed with lichen, shells, bark, saffron, and beetles, displaying distinctive regional weaves and knits, and how the modern Western garment industry has refashioned our attire into the homogenous and disposable uniforms popularized by fast fashion brands.

Thanhauser makes clear how the clothing industry has become one of the planet's worst polluters, and how it relies on chronically underpaid and exploited laborers. But she also shows us how micro-communities, textile companies, and clothing makers in every corner of the world are rediscovering ancestral and ethical methods for making what we wear.

Drawn from years of intensive research and reporting from around the world, and brimming with fascinating stories, Worn reveals to us that our clothing comes not just from the countries listed on the tags or ready-made from our factories. It comes, as well, from deep in our histories.

Praise for Worn

“A masterpiece of investigative reporting and a riveting adventure story, Worn is both panoramic and richly particular. Thanhauser is the best of guides: humane, engaging, generous with historical anecdote and always able to reveal the telling detail. She shows how the cost of fashion far exceeds any retail price tag, and how the revival of venerable traditions might yet lead us to a sustainable future.” —Geraldine Brooks, New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Chord

“Sofi Thanhauser’s history of cloth is not just about clothing: it is about ethics, workers’ rights, women’s progress, climate justice. It is the about the fabric of who we are. And as told in Worn, it also makes an absolutely gripping read!” —Peggy Orenstein, New York Times bestselling author of Girls & Sex and Boys & Sex

“A fascinating read, laying out how our increasingly careless use and discarding of clothing has come to damage our planet. Sofi Thanhauser has carried out a remarkable mass of research on clothes and the fibers they are made from. She has stitched it all together in a clear and engaging style that invites one to keep reading, and to start mending our ways.” —Elizabeth Wayland Barber, author of Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years

Avery Trufelman
Avery Trufelman

Avery Trufelman

Avery Trufelman is an alumna of the award-winning design podcast 99% Invisible. In September of 2018, she launched a limited-run series about clothing and fashion called Articles of Interest, which was declared one of the best podcasts of 2018 by the New Yorker, and the finale was called the “best podcast episode of the year” by Vulture. She is the host of Nice Try! a podcast from Curbed about utopian experiments, as well as the host of the podcast for The Cut, from New York Magazine.

Sofi Thanhauser
Sofi Thanhauser

Sofi Thanhauser

Sofi Thanhauser teaches in the writing department at Pratt Institute. She has received fellowships and residencies at MacDowell, Ucross Foundation, and the Millay Colony for the Arts, and has contributed to The Establishment, Essay Daily, Wag’s Revue, The Spectator, whitehot magazine of contemporary art, The Conversant, Entropy, Dilettante Army, and Edible Vineyard, among other publications.

Photo Credit: Beowulf Sheehan 

Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Event Series: Virtual Event Series

Harvard Book Store’s award-winning event series continues online! Named "Best of Boston: 2020 Best Virtual Author Series" and "2021 Best Virtual Author Series" by Boston magazine.

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