Holy spandex and bodysuits, American Apparel is back!
Same, same, but different?
In January this year, American Apparel announced that the company would close all 110 of its retail stores. The intellectual property (name, brand and designs) was acquired by Canadian company, Gildan for a cool $88 million, who opted not to continue production. Tears were shed and wiped away with American Apparel jersey tees - it was truly the end of an era.
There had been reports later this year that Gildan was preparing itself for the relaunch of American Apparel, and these reports were confirmed this week with the relaunch of the brands ecommerce site. If there is anything that everyone loves, it's a good comeback story.
Have a flick through the website and you will notice that it looks... exactly the same. Same font, same saturated images of models in compromising positions, same strappy body suits and cropped hoodies. There are however a few very notable changes, particularly the fact that the American Apparel product is no longer produced in America. Gildan has made the decision to produce globally - It's still American Apparel, just less... American?
The website features some new pages such as the 'Sweatshop Free Stories' page. There is also a 'Made in USA' page, featuring product that is made in the USA, alongside an identical item that is made globally. Both are identical in quality, the only difference is that the twin product is produced internationally - oh, and the price. The globally made apparel pieces are approximately 20% cheaper and happen to come in a wider range of colour variations. The page also reads: "We are sweatshop free and ethically made regardless of location. You decide."
While the site does not make it clear exactly where in the globe this new product is produced, it does show a video of one 'operator' at the 'San Antonio, Honduras sewing facility.' The language of the website suggests that the brand is using several similar 'facilities' across the globe.
Considering the price difference in the identical product, one can only assume that the 'Made in USA' feature will soon be phased out. I wonder if 'International Apparel' will have the same ring to it.
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