In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

316 Feminist Studies 46, no. 2. © 2020 by Feminist Studies, Inc. Minh-Ha T. Pham “How to Make a Mask”: Quarantine Feminism and Global Supply Chains Rosie the Seamstress. Also, Sally, Sylvia, Sharon, Susie/Suzie/Suzy the Seamstress. These are just some of the names given to, and adopted by, hundreds of thousands of (mostly) women and girls in the United States making face masks from their homes.1 They’re part of a loosely coordinated grassroots effort to help alleviate the national shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). Other collective terms, like sewing army, seamstress battalion, and craftivists also figure prominently in the popular discourse about this mass movement. As these names suggest, at-home mask-making in the context of COVID-19 is being interpreted as a gendered form of civic participation based on traditionally feminine skills of sewing and crafting as well as moral, spiritual, and cultural uplift. Like her predecessor, Rosie the Riveter , Rosie the Seamstress is understood as the feminine embodiment of the American can-do spirit. She’s a tough but feminine, white, middle-class woman who, when her country needs her, dutifully rolls up her sleeves and gets down to work—not by making airplanes and bombs but by sewing face masks. In national and local newspapers, this latest icon of feminist empowerment and national solidarity can be seen in the myriad photos of grandmothers, moms, sisters, neighbors, little girls, and social media 1. The masculine counterparts of Rosie the Seamstress are the portrayals of men and boys using their personal 3-D printers to fabricate face shields. Minh-Ha T. Pham 317 groups sitting at sewing machines making face masks. With few exceptions , they’re all white, feminine-presenting, and middle-class. “Rosie the Seamstress” is uplifting, but it’s also a narrative that pushes women of color, low-income women, and immigrant women to the margins of the US cultural and social imaginary, thus threatening to erase them from the historical memory of COVID-19 (and of World War II). Nowhere is this more evident than in the case of garment workers, the other group of mostly women and girls who are making face masks. Few sectors were as rapidly and severely affected by the early spread of COVID-19 than the global garment industry. Even when the virus was still contained to China, its effects were already being felt in garment factories all over the world. When China expanded its quarantine efforts in January 2020, fashion sales plummeted across all markets. Chinese consumers, the world’s fastest growing luxury market, stopped buying.2 Chinese garment and textile workers stopped going to factories to make clothes or to ship textiles and other materials (e.g., zippers, buttons, rivets, and Velcro) to apparel manufacturers in countries that depend on China for supplies. When COVID-19 spread globally, the impact on garment workers was catastrophic. As demand went into freefall, so too did new orders. Garment factories worldwide reported unprecedented production slowdowns in February and March of 2020, the effects of which will last for months, if not years. Typically, brands place orders at least three months ahead of delivery and pay for the finished product only after it arrives. In other words, production slowdowns in late autumn can mean a loss of wages and increased precarity for garment workers through the spring and summer, which can be devastating for those who lack savings and largely don’t get paid a living wage. For garment workers, the loss of a job often involves not only the loss of potential future income but also the loss of unpaid back wages. This is the second impact COVID-19 had on garment workers. 2. McKinsey Greater China’s Apparel, Fashion and Luxury Group, “China Luxury Report 2019,” McKinsey and Company, April 2019, china/how%20young%20chinese%20consumers%20 are%20reshaping%20global%20luxury/mckinsey-china -luxury-report-2019-how-young-chinese-consumersare -reshaping-global-luxury.ashx. 318 Minh-Ha T. Pham In the midst of the pandemic, Western fashion brands and retailers exercised their contractual right to cancel existing orders, or more accurately, to stiff workers on wages...