DATA

THE PROS:

The brand’s garment workers are paid partially by the amount of pieces they produce, and can make up to $18.50/hour or $36,000 a year.

The Sustainable Edition offers a selection of popular styles in 100% organic cotton although we don’t know how much of the overall AA collection is part of the Sustainable Edition.

They are a vertically integrated company, which means that they own and operate their supply chain from knitting to dyeing to cutting and sewing all in house.

THE CONS:

We don’t have information about how they deal with: child labour, abolition of forced or compulsory labour, freedom of association, rights to collective bargaining, the prohibition of regular excessive overtime, freedom of movement, prohibition of recruitment fees, right to leave/enter work voluntarily, non-interference towards trade unions.

The brand doesn’t communicate where the raw material (example: cotton) comes from.

As of 2014, the brand communicates that it is virtually landfill free. We are unsure about how they are measuring this.

/ As of March 13, 2015  the brand operates 239 retail stores in 20 countries.

/ As of March 13, 2015 they have approximately 10,000 employees.

/ They are a vertically integrated company, which means that they own and operate their supply chain from knitting to dyeing to cutting and sewing all in house.

/ The brand claims to make over 1 million garments a week so approximately 52 million garments a year.

In October 2015, the brand filed for bankruptcy.

 

/ The brand does their own knitting, dyeing, cutting and sewing all in-house in their factories in the US.

/ The brand doesn’t communicate where the raw material (example: cotton) comes from.

/ According to the New York Post in September 2015, one longtime fabric supplier of the company is suing American Apparel for non-payment of its bills. The complaint, filed by The Knit House Corp. of Vernon, Calif., is for $80,955 of a $134,622 order.

 

 

 

/ The brand’s garment workers are paid partially by the amount of pieces they produce, and can make up to $18.50/hour or $36,000 a year.

/ The brand offers on the job training, low cost benefits programs, an on-site clinic, informational sessions on health issues, and free vaccinations.

/ The brand has a Code of Business Conduct and Ethics that covers fair treatment of employees.

/ We don’t have information about how they deal with: child labour, abolition of forced or compulsory labour, freedom of association, rights to collective bargaining, the prohibition of regular excessive overtime, freedom of movement, prohibition of recruitment fees, right to leave/enter work voluntarily, non-interference towards trade unions.

 

 

 

/ The brand is beginning to incorporate sustainable fabrics such as bamboo and recycled polyester into their product line.

/ The Sustainable Edition offers a selection of popular styles in 100% organic cotton. We don’t know how much of the overall AA collection is part of the Sustainable Edition.

/ American Apparel joined the Cleaner Cotton Campaign and bought 30,000 pounds of Cleaner Cotton (also known as B.A.S.I.C. cotton) to incorporate into their non-organic line. The Cleaner Cotton Campaign, led by the Sustainable Cotton Project, was created to offer farmers profitable strategies for reducing chemical use in cotton cultivation. The program also avoids the use of genetically modified seeds.

/ The brand doesn’t have policies available concerning animal welfare although they have pledged to sell fur free clothing.

/  The brand houses a state-of-the-art solar panel installation on the roof of their downtown LA factory. This system generates 150 kilowatts of clean, renewable power, contributing 15% of their energy needs.

 

 

 

 

/ The brand doesn’t appear to have any goals that we could find.  Do you know of any?

/ The brand has been campaigning for immigration reform for over 11 years. They have launched a site called LegalizeLA that covers information about their stance on immigration reform.

/ In 2009, American Apparel hosted the Justice for Immigrants Factory Sale, where they sold over 15,000 overstock pieces and donated 100% of the proceeds to immigrant rights groups.

/ The brand campaigned for and supported California’s Prop 8.

/ In 2008, American Apparel began donating “Legalize Gay” t-shirts to any gay rights groups that needed them. Since the passing of Prop 8 in California, the company has given away more than 50,000 of these t-shirts to everyone from LGBT clubs on college campuses to the Harvey Milk School in San Francisco.

/  In 2011 and 2012, the brand donated T-shirts and other items to many LGBT Youth organizations, including the LA Gay and Lesbian Center Young Professionals Council and LikeMe.org.

 

 

 

 

/ The brand had lots of issues with founder and former CEO, Dov Charney, including sexual harassment cases and inappropriate comments.

/  The brand has since fired the CEO. According to Reuters in May 2015, American Apparel was suing Charney for violating standstill agreements.

/  According to The Guardian in June 2015, American Apparel had been granted a restraining order against its founder and former chief executive, Dov Charney.

 

 

/ The brand invests in manufacturing in the US and is vertically integrated.

The brand recycles almost all its manufacturing waste, an average of 125,000 lbs of textile and 25,000 lbs of paper, plastic and cardboard per week.

 

 

VOICES

ALDEN WICKER | REFINERY 29

“After all, you cannot deny that Dov worked hard to build a company that was proving — for a time — that you could be profitable and hip while paying American workers a living wage and treating them with dignity and respect that immigrants workers rarely receive.” – 10/20/2015

 


SUSAN BERFIELD | BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK

“All along they were thinking that anything goes in Charneyville,” says Thomas White, a professor of business ethics at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. “They only started to worry when they looked up and saw financial disaster.” – 07/09/2015

 

 

We haven’t heard anything from the brand, yet.  Check back soon!