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Advocacy Across Borders: NGOs, Anti-Sweatshop Activism and the Global Garment Industry

Shae Garwood
Advocacy Across Borders: NGOs, Anti-Sweatshop Activism and the Global Garment Industry
ISBN: 978-1-56549-455-8
ISBN: 978-1-56549-454-1
ISBN: 978-1-56549-457-2
2011/235 pages/LC: 2011016030
A Kumarian Press Book
"[A] thoughtfully conceived and well-argued book."—Max Stephenson Jr., Voluntas

"An informative analysis of an important social issue."—Choice

"Garwood's study points the way forward for civil society actors reaching across borders to advocate for a better world."—ISTR Newsletter

"Provides an evidence-based analysis of the efforts of anti-sweatshop nongovernmental organizations ... to fight the effects of globalization in the garment industry.... Thoughtful and well-organized."—Helen Moss, Labor Studies Journal

"In precise, meticulous prose and with an encyclopedic sweep of knowledge of the social movement, political economy, and globalization literature, Shae Garwood succeeds in bringing a measured observation of the anti-sweatshop movement and the challenges faced by it and by the workers for whose benefit it advocates.... This is a book I can [assign] to my students; but it is also a book from which I, and we all, can learn."—Robert J.S. Ross, Clark University

"A critical read to better understand the topic of women and their economic and political role and engagement in emerging economies."—Zainab Salbi, Founder, Women for Women International

"This is compulsory reading for those academics, activists, and citizens interested in promoting good labor and working conditions in the teeming sweatshops of the world.... It is a major advance on the rose-tinted perspective on global civic activism. Garwood has written an important and provocative work." —Kanishka Jayasuriya, University of Adelaide


Particularly compelling reading after the April 2013 building collapse that killed more than 1,000 garment workers in Bangladesh, Advocacy Across Borders explores the strategies, strengths—and limitations—of Northern-based NGOs that seek to improve conditions for the millions of workers in the clothing and textile industry who face long hours, inadequate wages, and abuse.

Garwood includes case studies of four NGOs: FairWear, United Students Against Sweatshops, STITCH, and the Clean Clothes Campaign.


Shae Garwood is research officer at Shelter Western Australia and cofounder of the Bluestocking Institute for Global Peace and Justice.


  • NGOs and Advocacy Networks as Transnational Political Actors.
  • Political Economy of the Garment Industry.
  • Development of the Anti-sweatshop Network.
  • Places and Practices of Four Anti-sweatshop NGOs.
  • Structures of Governance and Anti-sweatshop NGOs.
  • Consumer Campaigns and the Use of Civic Politics.
  • NGO Accountability and Political Responsibility.
  • Effectiveness of Anti-sweatshop Advocacy.
  • Conclusion.
  • Appendix: Organizations Involved in Transnational Advocacy and the Global Garment Industry.