When educator and designer Kelly Cobb decided to make a man’s suit only from materials produced within 100 miles of her home, she knew it would be a challenge. But Cobb’s locally made suit turned into a exhausting task. The suit took a team of 20 artisans several months to produce — 500 man-hours of work in total — and the finished product wears its rustic origins on its sleeve.
Cobb’s suit (see photo gallery) is a demonstration of the massive manufacturing power of the global economy. Industrial processes and cheap foreign labor belie the tremendous resources that go into garments as simple as a T-shirt.