American Apparel Made in American

Fast Fashion's Challenge: Making Money With 'Made In The USA'

American Apparel boasts that all of its products are made in the united states, primarily at its Los Angeles headquarters. Attempting to sell clothes produced mainly by device, rather than by hand, has helped the organization remain lucrative. Mark Ralston/Getty Pictures hide caption

toggle caption Mark Ralston/Getty Photos

In the world of fast fashion, two U.S.-based companies loom huge: Forever 21 and American Apparel. Both tend to be based in la, nevertheless two couldn't be more various.

United states Apparel proudly boasts the garments it sells are "made in the united states." In contrast, Forever 21 subcontracts with production facilities all over the globe.

Dov Charney, American Apparel's Canadian-American founder and CEO, features a reputation. "I knew from a very early age — in elementary college — that I was going to rub some individuals the wrong method, " he claims.

His company's designs in many cases are near naked in ads at coach stops and in publications. He has experienced a variety of harassment fits, intimate and otherwise, and has now had some severe difficulty with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Charney, 44, promises problems with employee papers once pushed him to lay off more than one-third of their staff.

Do Won Chang, president and CEO of Forever 21, is 58, Korean-American and devoutly Christian. Every Forever 21 shopping bag is stamped using the Bible verse John 3:16.

Chang has additionally had his share of appropriate difficulty. There have been waves of worker disputes over labor problems that lasted years at a time and even boycotts. Chang has also been faced with design theft for stealing styles from other designers.

In an interview with CNN, Chang stated he really had no curiosity about manner; he just wanted to make money. In which he has done a job of this; relying heavily on production offshore, Chang projects billion in product sales this season.

If United states Apparel was not built in U.S.A., we would perhaps not occur today. It doesn't make sense to operate a vehicle to Vietnam to grab a T-shirt.

Dov Charney, creator and CEO, United States Apparel

On the other hand, American Apparel expects its 2013 product sales to weigh-in at around $650 million — which is anticipated is a good 12 months.

Satisfying Need Direct From An L.A. Factory

Perhaps Chang is simply a more successful businessman, but it is hard to withstand the question: Does it actually add up, economically, to make garments in the United States?

"If United states Apparel wasn't built in U.S.A., we would not exist today, " says Charney. He doesn't pretend to-be Forever 21, but he has built and run a successful business, you start with tees.

"it does not make sense to push to Vietnam to pick up a T-shirt, " Charney claims. By boat, it can take about monthly for tees sent in.

For Charney, that's too-long. So rather, he drives towards seven-story United states Apparel headquarters in downtown Los Angeles. From their top-floor workplace, Charney and his staff determine what's selling really and quickly, then fill-in the sewing managers one floor below.

The fast procedure implies their offer has actually a better potential for matching demand. The American attire factory is indeed nimble, it can get 1, 000 tees from door in one single day.

Straight back at Forever 21, Linda Chang, the girl of Forever 21's Do Won Chang, says she talks on her dad when she applauds United states Apparel's straight integration — financial speak for performing every thing in-house. But Forever 21 varies, she states.

Its costs are even below United states Apparel's, she notes, and the business provides a larger selection of garments and designs. "and now we utilize a mix of overseas and regional factories to produce this to our customers, " she adds.

So, the reason why can supplying a variety of garments inexpensively simply be accomplished by production overseas?

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