WorldChanging: Another World Is Here: Compostmodern
Roian Atwood from American Apparel had a lot to say about the garment industry and their successful bucking of the trends. America's textile industry is dead--98% of clothes sold in America are foreign-made, and of course tales of sweatshops are infamous. But American Apparel makes all of their clothes in the US, from materials almost entirely grown/made in the US, and pays their factory workers $13 - $20 an hour plus benefits. Far from struggling along for the sake of a mission, they're growing wildly. They're a vertically integrated company, from farm to store, and at present their main obstacle to offering more organics is the lack of spinning mills left in the country, which makes it difficult to specialize. And for those that haven't already heard, they don't use models for their ads--they're workers from the company or anyone off the street, with no airbrushing and minimal makeup. Their much-lauded practice of having no logos on anything was actually an outgrowth of the fact that they started as wholesale suppliers of "blanks" which brand-name companies printed their logos on--when American Apparel started retailing for themselves, they didn't want to compete with their existing customers.
26 January 2006