American Apparel Has More Lives Than A Frickin’ Cat

The Globe And Mail reports that struggling hipster clothing manufacturer American Apparel just got a hot, throbbing $14-million cash injection from Canadian investors. From the Globe’s story:

While that may not seem like a large sum, it provides cash-strapped American Apparel with the operating funds needed to revive its manufacturing and distribution operations. The Los Angeles-based manufacturer, which is known for its colourful T-shirts and cotton basics, was nearly crippled by rising cotton prices and a dispute with the U.S. government that forced it to lay off thousands of workers who did not have proper immigration documentation.

I’m glad. In the first place I like American Apparel tees. In the second place I think AA got unreasonably piled on. Yes, their ads are sexist–not because they have women in passive, sexualized poses but because they don’t do the same with male models (which baffles me, frankly–I hear straight women and gay guys like to look at pictures of sexy men). And yes, the company has a reputation for sexist and stupid behaviour–allegedly hiring key staff based on their looks rather than their competency and a few (two or three, if I recall) at least five unresolved sexual harassment suits directed at owner Dov Charney.

Having said that, well, for fuck’s sake — here’s a major U.S. clothing manufacture run by a Canadian-born entrepreneur that’s hiring people, often Mexican immigrants, at good wages and we’re all going to trash it when most of the clothing industry has outsourced to foreign companies where labour is cheaper and labour legislation is sketchier?

Please. AA’s got some atoning to do but they’re by far one of the better companies in this sector. They’re a superior employer in a bad industry, they carry a line of organic cotton clothes and and I like the way their tees fit. I personally wish them success and hope they’ll behave better in the future.

Author: Stephen Whitworth

Prairie Dog editor Stephen Whitworth will never, ever pass up a chance to make a Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo pun.