You can use the story of jeans to show the economic interdependence of communities around the world. Look up the places mentioned in this article and mark them on a map of the world. Add arrows to show the journey from raw material to finished product. How many different communities were involved? What impact does the industry have on the environment? Look at the labels on children's own clothing, or bring in a selection to investigate. How many different countries are named on labels? Where are they?
Take an old pair of jeans apart. How many different components are involved? How many different kinds of thread are used? How many different kinds of stitch are there?
What is the difference between the price at the factory gate and the retail price? What is the reason for the mark-up? Bring in some catalogues and use the internet to compare prices. Which are the cheapest jeans? Which are most expensive? How does the price of designer jeans compare with those in chain stores? Discuss reasons for the mark-up.
Working in pairs, make a flow chart showing the different steps involved in making a pair of jeans from cutting out to final finishing-off. Add labels and use the chart to write an instructional text. JS
John Stringer is an educationist, Ofsted inspector and freelance writer