The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy

Topic: Enterprise
Words: 888 Pages: 3


Since 1983, Pietra Rivoli has been a Finance and Business Professor for the McDonaugh School of Business at Georgetown University. Her only book, The Travels of a Global Economy T-shirt, has been a bestseller and the winner of just a few business prizes in 2005. It was also modified into a play in 2008. According to Whaples, “the most profound surprise in her story may concern where the value is added in the production of a t-shirt” (2007). The T-Shirt Voyage is a critically praised story that sheds light on worldwide discussion and shows the key ingredients to a global company’s success. The book reveals the political and economic factors at work in the global economy and traces a T-life shirt’s history from a Texas cotton field to a Chinese factory and back to a US shop before reaching the secondhand clothes market in Africa. On the way, this exciting investigation deals with a multitude of pressing political, commercial, economic, ethical, and historical issues in the corporate environment today.

The Plot

The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy is a fascinating narrative from its birth via the eyes of Pietra Rivoli, a professor at Georgetown University. They had once witnessed protests in Washington DC in which posters say globalization is evil and that our t-shirts create sweatshops and damage local employment and the general quality of work. She tried to find out the truth and moved on to find out where her T-Shirt originated from exactly. She grabbed her t-shirt from her closet and went to the shopping to find out where she came from, and she printed a white one with the Florida beach landscape on it.

She explores Cotton production in the United States, its history, the political backdrop of the leading cotton industry in the United States, the number of subsidies to the sector, and how it might maintain competition from other low-cost labor markets worldwide, including Asia and Africa. Before putting them into this book, the author gives several facts to confirm his information that indicates his extensive research on the subject. Most of them are pretty intriguing and open to the eye.

She touches on the subjects of slavery, immigrant Mexican workers, and the cotton industry. It also stresses India’s, China’s, and African inefficiency in improving their cotton output through government programs or mechanization that lag behind the US. She is deeply involved with the present status of cotton production in Texas and how it remains a world leader. The suicide of 500 cotton farmers is an exciting tale in Andhra Pradesh, owing to weak government support during poor farmyard seasons. By provider-based labor regulations and significant subsidy on production and cotton trading, the US political environment favored cotton growers very well.

In addition, to the colonialization, many indigenous mills in India have been methodically destroyed, and garments manufactured in India and elsewhere in Asia and the US have been exported by the British. At the beginning of the 1800s, the US tried to drive many local mills, mainly to North and South Carolina. In the middle of the 1930s, Japan came in and had over 40% of the world’s export of textiles. Because of World War 2 and the race to the bottom, the industry moved into Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China, which is today the leading manufacturer of textiles.

She talks about how the production of cotton provided empowerment to women around the globe. It demonstrates, too, that the towns previously thrived with the cotton industry and continued after the business departed. The cities and nations once were part of the cotton industry, leading to urbanization, industrialization, and the ensuing economic diversification. It led to women being freed from farming economically and socially.

Influence on Business Environment

During the entire voyage on that T-shirt, Rivoli weaves the history of labor-rule and labor rights movement, tariffs and import limitations, outsourcing, and enterprise in discussing pertinent subjects, such as the growth of cotton in the United States. The book is interesting, and it even has some unexpected images that enable readers to acquire a better knowledge of globalization as a product we all know. A unique and helpful approach has been discovered and effectively applied to educate multi-jurisdictional taxation. The reviewed course methodology better responds to the demands of a student body with broad variations of previous business experiences and course preparation if there was a flow of five full-time graduate students due to the 150-hour requirement. Pietra Rivoli’s premature documentary The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy was incorporated into the new course curriculum.


Pietra Rivoli has been a professor of finance and business at the McDonaugh Business School at Georgetown University since 1983. Her only book, The Travels of a Global Economic T-shirt, won only a few business honors in 2005. In 2008 it was also changed to a game. This influential book tells today’s generation about the development of the global economy with the example of a T-shirt that had to go through a massive creation process before hitting the counter. The business environment can highlight the progress of today by comparing those times with the present. The T-Shirt Voyage is a highly acclaimed narrative that throws light on the global debate and illustrates the essential factors in the success of a multinational firm.


Whaples, R. (2007). The travels of a t-Shirt in the global economy: An economist examines the markets, power, and politics of world trade. American Economist, 51(1), 108.

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