Where are American Apparel t-shirts made?
American Apparel much like the name says is actually printed in the United States in a major manufacturing facility in Los Angeles. Much of their marketing in the earlier days of the company were focused on the fact that the apparel was made in a sweat shop free production plant as opposed to the less than savory conditions overseas. American Apparel was able to capitalize on those harsh conditions in the public eye and create a range of clothing items in the United States.
In the last twenty years, clothing manufacturers have been moving their production overseas to reduce cost and increase profits. This includes moving to island areas such as the Honduras and over to Asian countries like China and Malaysia. Early on this move proved to be quite lucratvie for the larger textile manufacturers because the cost of labor overseas was at a fraction of the cost of American based labor. The materials cost for the products also decreased significantly causing the overall ending result price to be much less than what used to be the industry standard in the United States.
At first glance this seemed to be an awesome move for textile producers because of the amount of money saved and earned. However as time went on their proved to be a major trade-off in moving production overseas. Early on and still in some cases there was a lack of regulations on labor standards and the work environment as a whole. Documentaries and exposés were filmed to make Americans aware of how poorly treated factory workers can be in overseas countries that produce t-shirts and apparel. This awareness for the American public coupled with the fact that many jobs have been lost and moved overseas put a stain on the industry in the eyes of the consumers. For the apparel manufacturers that stayed in the United States, this became an opportunity to market their goods as American made by Americans.
It wasn't uncommon for people to buy a product based on its country of origin over another similar product that was produced overseas for these reasons. As labor standards improve in the workplace environment becomes safer overseas, Americans have less of an aversion to buy products made overseas. However no good deed goes unpunished because manufacturing costs are rising overseas in conjunction with improved standards.
American Apparel will always continue to make their products in the United States as long as they are in business in my opinion.
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