Editors aren't the only ones defending Ralph Lauren after the whole made-in-China hoopla, U.S. retailer American Apparel is offering its services to the luxury label. Easy offer for RL to take? Only if their pride doesn't get in the way. American Apparel has been working with Russia since 2011 to manufacture their Olympic uniforms for 2014.
It has taken public ridicule and backlash for Ralph Lauren to want to manufacture the U.S. Olympic uniforms in its own nation while other countries seek goods made on American soil.
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"[Russian Olympic team representatives] said they didn't want anything that was made in China," American Apparel CEO Dov Charney told The Post. "It's not just for the uniforms - it's also the merchandise."
Fashionista got in touch with American Apparel who released this statement:
"The American Apparel factory makes more than 50 million garments a year and that isn't all for our stores. A huge part of the company's business is wholesale and private label-we can basically make anything for anyone. Our prices are completely competitive, especially when you factor in the quality control and speed to market."
The American Apparel rep also went on to boast about the retailer's speedy production, "American Apparel could start working on uniforms today and have them in London within 7 days. That's what vertical integration is about." The company has offered its factory to Ralph Lauren to redo the uniforms in time for this year's Olympics coming up next week (maybe then Senator Harry Reid can fulfill his wish of burning the already-made uniforms, beret and all).
Ironically, American Apparel - the largest U.S. based apparel manufacturer - has never been approached to participate in any U.S. Olympic clothing or merchandising activity. The Post also reports that the U.S. Olympic Committee has never turned to the Made in USA Foundation either. Joel Joseph, co-founder of the Made in USA Founder, says that most federal operations buy clothing and sell stuff that's mostly from China. He notes that even uniforms worn by US Transportation Security Administration officials at US airports and other high-security areas are made in Pakistan; "Talk about a security breach," he said.
Charney believes that America is such an importing country, that it's not surprising that many US brands don't source from home. "The banking oligarchy wrote off a US textile industry that was ailing in the late 1990s," Charney said. "Now, the industry is completely disposed to importing - they don't know any other way."
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