After taking a verbal beating over manufacturing in China, Ralph Lauren finally responds to the drama. The design label produced a preppy collection of uniforms for the U.S. team to wear to the opening ceremonies of the London Olympics this month. The uniforms were not widely received well due to several reasons. For one, the beret rubbed many the wrong way due to its European flair. But what really caused the uproar was the discovery that the uniforms were not made on American soil.
Ralph Lauren, being a long-term sponsor for the uniforms since 2008, announced on Friday that it will begin producing the uniforms in the United States starting with the 2014 Olympics. The company released the following statement:
"For more than 45 years, Ralph Lauren has built a brand that embodies the best of American quality and design rooted in the rich heritage of our country. We are honored to continue our longstanding relationship with the United States Olympic Committee in the 2014 Olympic Games by serving as an official outfitter of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams. Ralph Lauren promises to lead the conversation within our industry and our government to address the issue to increase manufacturing in the United States. We have committed to producing the opening and closing ceremony Team USA uniforms in the United States that will be worn for the 2014 Olympic Games."
Harsh comments that led to the company's re-evaluation included Senator Harry Reid's "put them in a big pile and burn them." Despite the major backlash, Ralph Lauren has found a number of supporters who point out that this whole country uses resources made from other countries and that other Olympic uniforms are made offshore too.
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